OUTLOOK — Awadh Ba Qweer — No doubt everyone agrees on the importance of protecting the rights and dignity of human beings and accentuate freedom of speech. Such principles have been confirmed by Islam some fourteen hundred years ago. Any violation whatsoever against any human being is legally rejected, however, the political developments that occurred during the last five decades have created a conflict of interests and led to the developing countries being blackmailed by the world’s major powers, and subject to armed conflicts in some cases.
Against the backdrop of pressures by the major powers and hegemony over the third world countries hundreds of human rights organisations have emerged in Europe during the last two decades, ostensibly for promoting human rights and supporting general liberties with special focus on the Middle East as part of hidden agendas and within the framework of role distribution at the time of globalisation and the penetration attempts that are taking place in several countries.
Human rights organisations, particularly those based in Europe, target to extort the GCC States through the issuance of negative reports of the state of human rights benefiting some Gulf citizens seeking empowerment in European countries. In recent times these reports have been on the rise with the existence of some domestic disputes which are supposed to be dealt with by the local judiciary as is the case in all countries of the civilised world.
What has happened recently in Oman — the on-line publishing of defamatory contents against the nation — is a striking example of interference by these organisations which strive to destabilise the social security through issuing one-sided biased reports.
I have met some representatives of these rights organisations during legal conferences and I came to know that some of them are using their offices to exploit the Arabs who obtained European nationalities since they have a good knowledge of the nature of Arab societies and thus they write negative reports bustling with false accusation and allegations. Some organisations like Human Rights Watch and other organisations based in Egypt have issued ridiculous reports about the conditions of the Omani bloggers who posted defamatory write-ups, their reports are devoid of factual information. The question is: Do these organisations accept the responsibility for these acts of slander and defamation and take them as part of the freedom of expression? The natural answer is ‘No’. Instead they file lawsuits which are quite ubiquitous in the European courts of law.
I think that the GCC governments should pay no attention to such suspicious reports; the government of Oman in particular should totally ignore these reports as they do not have the slightest connection with credibility and professionalism and the objectives behind them have been exposed.
The just Omani judiciary is capable of protecting the rights of every citizen; it is the legal umbrella that has always been a source of pride to the Omani people. There is no doubt that the Sultanate has a clear human rights record. During the past number of years His Majesty has pardoned many people convicted with sensitive crimes, something that doesn’t happen even in the advanced world.
Regrettably, some people seek to be empowered by suspicious organisations which do not wish us good. We see how they meddle in the affairs of countries suffering internal strife and civil division. These organisations have hidden agenda and their opportunistic nature is known to all countries, particularly those in the Gulf region.
Our national unity is the most invaluable asset we possess and the Omani society with its high morals, tolerance and adherence to the Islamic values won’t degrade themselves to the culture of defamation and libel and suchlike alien conducts.
As journalists and writers we emphasise the freedom of expression, the media legislations are going to be amended as the Sultanate is witnessing a new era on various aspects. This is a healthy change since it opens the way for exposing and criticising the negative side of the government’s performance. Newspapers are now enjoying a wide margin of freedom and allowed to publish direct criticism, this is the freedom of expression which we are stressing and striving to pursue.
The Russian President Vladimir Putin recently issued decisive resolutions criminalising members of local organisations who co-operate with and seek the support of international organisations. Such a resolution is not open to discussion knowing that President Putin has a history with a firmly-established intelligence agency in Russia.
National dialogue is required so that everyone can express their opinions away from the culture of insult. As journalists we are tasked with a huge national responsibility that requires us to put the nation’s interest above all considerations. Besides, the leader of Oman has created unique national solidarity that gave us peace and stability we are now enjoying all over the country at a time when many nations are experiencing upheavals and divisions.
We have to admit that some flaws have occurred during the last number of years which is a natural outcome in the context of nations’ progression. The government has to remedy these faults with the assistance of the legislative authorities. Civilised countries often reassess their performances. There are socio-economic shortcomings which should be addressed but at the same time the government making efforts to restructure its departments and the Supreme Council for Planning is a good example.
Finally, any shortcoming should be remedied within the boundaries. Those people have to refrain from seeking protection from the suspected organisations that are striving to implement their hidden agendas. These organisations aren’t concerned with human rights issues. What have they done to protect the human rights of the Palestinian people which have been violated for six decades? What have they done to save the human rights of the Iraqi and Afghan peoples from the crimes being committed by foreign troops?
These organisations, as everyone knows, attempted to sabotage security in Egypt during the revolution. The cases of foreign organisations and the Egyptian citizens who sought their support have been brought before Egyptian courts of law.
We have to exercise caution when dealing with the foreign organisations that are blackmailing the Gulf states in order to achieve political gains as part of a broad strategy related to international conflicts. May God protect the people and leader of Oman and keep its supremacy for eternity.