A rights group in Oman has condemned online blog posts believed to be “libelous and inflammatory” against individuals, in a move which has ruffled the feathers of rights campaigners and the Omani authorities in recent weeks.
The announcement by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of Oman has shocked human rights campaigners who have been looking to the commission for intervention in the detainment of activists and bloggers by Omani officials last month, according to Gulf News reports on Thursday.
The Commission said a person’s right to free speech ends where another person’s freedom begins, adding that “negative writings” violated Islamic principles as well as national and international laws.
But the NHRC also stressed that it retains the right to free speech if the information shared is in the public interest, and not for the purpose of insulting or demeaning individuals. It also insisted that civil society organizations should be involved in raising public awareness on the consequences of uninhibited free speech which may impact national stability in the country.
(Written by Noora Faraj)