'Troublesome' Omani newspaper Azamn 'permanently closed' by Supreme Court

'Troublesome' Omani newspaper Azamn 'permanently closed' by Supreme Court
Oman's Supreme Court has ordered the Azamn newspaper - which has had frequent run-ins with the law - to close, according to local reports.
2 min read
07 October, 2017
An Omani newspaper has been closed following a troubled history with authorities [Getty]
An Omani newspaper frequently in trouble with the law will be "permanently closed" following a ruling by the sultanate's Supreme Court this week.

Azamn was ordered to be closed and two journalists jailed following a 2016 story by the newspaper on alleged corruption in the judiciary

Zaher al-Abri - one of the journalists who was arrested last year by authorities - said on Twitter that the Supreme Court had ruled that Azamn will be "permanently closed", according to Omani journalist Fatma al-Arimi.

The decision serves a blow to media in Oman, which has has a rocky relationship with authorities.

The decision was spared by the arrest of three journalists in 2016 over an article on alleged corruption in the ministry of justice.

While one of the two journalists was freed earlier this year when his sentence was reduced, Editor Yusuf al-Haj remains in jail but set to be released later this month.

Azamn ran into trouble in 2016 when it alleged that officials in the justice ministry had undermined the judiciary's independence. 

An interview with the Oman Supreme Court Vice-President Ali bin Salem al-Noamani - in which he backed the allegations - was also published, which led to Haj's arrest hours later.

Haj was charged with "disturbing public order", "misusing the internet", "publishing details of a civil case", and "undermining the prestige of the state".

He was sentenced to three years in jail - later reduced to one year on appeal - and given a 3,000 Omani rial ($7,800) fine.

Azamn and Haj have run into trouble with authorities before.

In 2011, the editor was sentenced to five months in jail and the Omani newspaper closed for a month on charges of "defaming" and "insulting the dignity" of the justice minister and his deputy.