Freedom House


Key Developments in 2019

  • The authorities continued to harass activists and commentators who criticized aspects of Omani policymaking, including through short-term detentions.
  • An annual international book fair held in Muscat in February and March was marred by the confiscation of large numbers of books without explanation, including works by Omani authors that had been displayed at previous exhibitions without incident.
  • Concerns for the health of Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who had ruled since 1970, intensified at year’s end, spurring renewed speculation about the leadership’s opaque succession plans.

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