Independent newspaper shut down permanently by Omani Supreme Court


On 23rd October 2017, Yousef Al-Haj, deputy editor of Azamn newspaper, was released upon completion of his prison term. Gulf Centre for Human Rights reports that Azamn newspaper remains closed following the Supreme Court of Oman's final decision of 5th October 2017. The Court decision represents a major blow to freedom of the press and expression in the country. As reported on the Monitor, the Omani authorities forced the newspaper to close in 2016 and arrested and imprisoned Al-Haj and his colleagues. Al-Haj had been in detention since August 2016 and was the acting Editor-in-Chief of Azamn at the time of his arrest. 


The right to freedom of association continues to be violated in Oman. According to a statement by the Omani Centre for Human Rights, on 5th October 2017 - World Teachers' Day - teachers in Oman were denied the right to join a union. They have also been targeted by the authorities for participating in peaceful protests.