Torture in  [Oman]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Oman]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Oman]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Oman]  [other countries]

Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                                  

The Sultanate of Oman

Oman is a middle-income economy that is heavily dependent on dwindling oil resources, but sustained high oil prices in recent years have helped build Oman's budget and trade surpluses and foreign reserves. As a result of its dwindling oil resources, Oman is actively pursuing a development plan that focuses on diversification, industrialization, and privatization, with the objective of reducing the oil sector's contribution to GDP to 9% by 2020.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Description: Oman

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Oman.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.

*** ARCHIVES ***

Torture in Oman

Gulf Center for Human Rightsm, 29 Jan 2014

[accessed 5 Feb 2014]

“I thought they were killing Said, and that I was next. I could hear beating and shouting. I didn’t want to die afraid; I wanted to be strong, honourable. I prayed and thought of my parents. I will never forget the sound of the sticks hitting him.” Basimah Al-Rajhi, human rights lawyer, speaking in October 2013.

INTRODUCTION - Torture has become the state’s knee jerk response to political expression. This report documents the arsenal of torture methods in use in Oman including mock execution, beating, hooding, solitary confinement, subjection to extremes of temperature and to constant noise, abuse and humiliation. These practices are allowed to flourish within a culture of arbitrary arrest and detention in secret institutions.


“At the police station I was asked to wait in a room as a senior officer wanted to talk to me. I waited but then six men came into the room, all hooded and carrying guns. They cuffed my hands roughly behind my back, shouting at me and took my glasses, my hat. They placed a long knee length black hood over me….”  Khalfan Al-Badwawi, social activist speaking in October 2013.


All of the male detainees interviewed for the purpose of this report described a similar range of abuses carried out by public officials against them while they were in detention. These include hooding, subjection to loud music played 24 hours a day, sleep deprivation, and exposure to extremes of temperature. Three detainees told GCHR of incidents of kidnapping by security services. One described severe beatings and mock execution.

Hooding is recognized as a form of torture and or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by international and regional human rights bodies. The United Nations Committee Against Torture has stated that hooding in certain circumstances constitutes torture, in particular when used in conjunction with other coercive techniques such as subjection to loud music and extreme temperatures, which occurred in these cases.[20] The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights have also condemned the practice.[21]


Detained human rights defenders were also subject to other forms of ill treatment including prolonged solitary confinement, which can in certain circumstances amount to torture, prolonged interrogation, prolonged handcuffing, verbal abuse and threats.

Several said that they were coerced into signing confessions or into making false statements. One said that his children’s future was threatened unless he ceased his political activities

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 10 February 2013]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – The law prohibits such practices, and the government generally respected these provisions in practice; however, there were accusations of police employing unnecessary force to disband protestors and of investigative judges threatening physical harm to uncooperative detainees. The government dismissed or demoted police found guilty of using excessive force.

Freedom House Country Rating - Political Rights: 6   Civil Liberties: 5   Status: Not Free

2009 Edition

[accessed 10 February 2013]

The judiciary is not independent. It remains subordinate to the sultan and the Ministry of Justice. Sharia (Islamic law) is the source of all legislation, and Sharia Court Departments within the civil court system are responsible for family-law matters such as divorce and inheritance. In less populated areas, tribal laws and customs are frequently used to adjudicate disputes. Many of the civil liberties guarantees expressed in the basic law have not been implemented.

According to the law, arbitrary arrest and detention are prohibited. In practice, the police are not required to obtain an arrest warrant in advance. Government authorities must obtain court orders to hold suspects in pretrial detention, but the police and security services do not regularly follow these procedures. Prisons are not accessible to independent monitors, and former prisoners report overcrowding. The penal code contains broad and vague provisions for offenses against national security. These charges are prosecuted before the State Security Court, which usually holds proceedings that are closed to the public.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES. 

Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Oman",, [accessed <date>]



Torture in  [Oman]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Oman]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Oman]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Oman]  [other countries]