Pakistan Press Foundation expresses concern on freedom of expression decline in Oman
Pakistan Press Foundation PPF in a letter to King Sultan bin Said al Said of the Sultanate of Oman expressed concern that activists voicing criticism on social media face prison and seeing a decline in freedom of expression in Oman.
PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali in his letter urged Oman’s government to stop prosecuting the people for peacefully expressing their beliefs and make sure that there is space for peaceful dissent. The courts are basically criminalizing dissent in Oman and authorities should immediately release the activists who are imprisoned solely for exercising their basic rights.
According to Human Rights Watch HRW, courts in Oman sentenced online activists to prison in two separate cases in February 2016 for their social media posts. HRW documented a pattern in which Omani security forces harass, prosecute activists and critics on vague charges such as “insulting the Sultan and undermining the prestige of the state.” Authorities restrict online criticism and other digital content using Article 61 of the year 2002 Telecommunication Act.
Pakistan Press Foundation