Oman government statement on freedom of expression

Business Tuesday 09/August/2016 23:14 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman government statement on freedom of expression

Muscat: The Government has followed up closely, carefully and transparently what was published recently in one of the local daily newspapers and found out that the published material constituted a flagrant violation of the ethics of freedom of expression, which is an authentic value advocated by Omani society and reaffirmed by the Basic Law of the State, said an official source yesterday.
In a statement, the source added that the material published recently did not only ignore the basics of freedom of expression, but it also degraded this value to utilize it in such a manner that harms one of the basic pillars of the State — the justice institution, which should be an object of respect and gratification rather than a target of deliberate accusations meant to shake confidence, as was intended by the said newspaper in its recent series of articles and interviews. The judicial institution is the guarantor of justice and public rights, and it is the safeguard of society’s stability, its protector and point of reference that is resorted to upon litigation between individuals.
Following its keenness to shoulder its responsibilities, the Government — as it espouses the principles set forth by the Basic Law of the State and perceives the essence of His Majesty the Sultan’s Royal speeches on responsible freedom of expression, and after elaborate study of all aspects of the issue — has undertaken procedures to protect the judicial institution and secure it against tampering of the injudicious and the scornful attitude of any entity that might disdain the values of Omani society.
In so doing, the Government also perceives the overall good of society, takes insight from relevant articles of laws that provide it with the tools that enable it to perform its role and shoulder its responsibilities as stipulated by those laws, foremost of which is the responsibility to safeguard the gains of the blessed Renaissance.
The Government has taken legal action against the perpetrators of all that (published material), but without excess or exaggeration.
While undertaking these procedures, the Government reiterates that freedom of expression will remain an authentic value that cannot be evaded and that freedom of expression should become a responsible action that is not motivated by any personal impulses. The Government also reaffirms that the institution of justice will continue to be a formidable edifice and a lofty symbol of virtue, to which the Government holds firm and fast.