The human rights situation in Oman has deteriorated sharply as a result of restrictions on freedom of opinion, expression and association imposed by the government since 2011. Rights activists in Oman face considerable challenges in the form of legal harassment, threats and arrests by the security authorities. There is no independent human rights organisation in Oman – the only such body is a non-neutral government organisation.
What the Centre will be doing:
The Omani Centre for Human Rights (formerly Omani Monitor for Human Rights) is a UK-based non-governmental, non-profit organisation that will monitor and document human rights conditions in Oman. It will focus on exposing and documenting rights violations in Oman, and contribute to rising the state of human rights awareness as well as producing academic studies by experts and proposing practical ways to improve and strengthen human rights work on the issues.
Why the UK:
In Oman, setting up an association or party active in politics or human rights is regarded as a crime. There are laws forbidding and criminalising such activity, for example Article 134 of the Omani Penal Code, and Royal Decree 38/2014. For this reason, it was decided to base the Centre in the United Kingdom.
Vision: Rights, freedom, justice, equality.
To spread awareness of human rights in all areas of public life, such as the rights of the child, women’s rights, and the right to freedom of opinion, expression and belief etc.
To monitor and document human rights violations.
To raise and spread awareness of the concepts of human rights and freedoms.
To strengthen the rights of women and children.
To call for the right to form parties and associations, and strengthen the concept of peaceful civil activity.
To spread democratic values and thinking based on respect for human rights.
Means of carrying out the Centre’s work:
A website in Arabic and English
Periodic human rights reports (quarterly, biannual and annual) in both languages
Organisation of and participation in international workshops and conferences concerning human rights
Production and distribution of visual materials (photos and videos) for raising awareness of rights and freedoms, and for documenting cases.
The Centre is a non-political human rights organisation working exclusively to human rights methods and norms. It neither engages in politics nor serves any political party against any other. Its concern is to monitor human rights violations whatever their source, and to promote awareness of human rights among all sectors of society. It has no religious/denominational or ethnic/sectarian affiliation, but champions the ideals of liberty and civil rights.