Oman: "All Questions" program presented by broadcaster Kholoud Al-Alawi has been suspended

26.12.21

In an arbitrary measure that greatly endangers freedom of expression, the Ministry of Information decided on 01 December 2021 to prevent the broadcast of the “All Questions” program, presented by the prominent broadcaster, Kholoud Al-Alawi,  on Hala FM radio.

Local reports confirmed that the Ministry of Information informed the Radio administration of its decision over the phone. As soon as the news of the decision was circulated, the hashtag, #Solidarity _ with _ Kholoud_Al-Alawi, started trending on Omani Twitter.

The decision was issued on the same day that Al-Alawi hosted Shura Council member Dr. Mohammed Al-Zadjali on her program. During an interview with him, he criticized the presidency of the Shura Council and said, "The media outlets handed over their necks to the Ministry of Information.”

Furthermore, the Ministry of Information issued a circular on 23 December 2021, requiring the media to coordinate the hosting of members of the Shura Council with the Ministry. Observers consider this to be yet another restriction on media freedom.

The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) and the Omani Association for Human Rights (OAHR) condemn the unjust decision issued by the Ministry of Information against broadcaster Kholoud Al-Alawi, who performed her broadcasting work with the utmost professionalism and sought to enact peaceful change to improve the lives of Omani citizens. The GCHR and OAHR urge the Omani authorities to protect all public freedoms, especially media freedom and freedom of expression.