Public Rights and Duties

Article (15) Nationality is regulated by the Law. It may not be forfeited or withdrawn except within the limits of the Law.

Article (16) It is not permitted to deport or exile citizens, or prevent them from returning to the Sultanate.

Article (17) All citizens are equal before the Law, and they are equal in public rights and duties. There shall be no discrimination between them on the grounds of gender, origin, colour, language, religion, sect, domicile or social status.

Article (18) Personal freedom is guaranteed in accordance with the Law. No person may be arrested, searched, detained or imprisoned, or have his residence or movement curtailed, except in accordance with the provisions of the Law.

Article (19) Detention or imprisonment is not permitted, except in the places designated for that purpose in the prison laws, which provide for health care and social welfare.

Article (20) No person shall be subjected to physical or psychological torture, enticement or humiliating treatment, and the Law lays down the punishment for anyone who is guilty of such actions. No statement shall be valid if it is established that it has been obtained as a result of torture, enticement or humiliating treatment, or threats of such measures.

Article (21) There shall be no crime and no punishment except in accordance with the criteria of a Law, and there shall be no punishment except for actions cognisable in Law. Punishment is personal not transferable.

Article (22) An accused person is innocent until proven guilty in a legal trial which ensures him the essential guarantee to exercise his right of defence according to the Law. It is prohibited to harm the accused either bodily or mentally.

Article (23) The accused has the right to appoint a person who has the ability to defend him during the trial. The Law defines the circumstances which require the presence of a lawyer on behalf of the accused and guarantees those without the financial capacity, the means to resort to justice and the defence of their rights.

Article (24) Anyone who is arrested shall be notified of the causes of his arrest immediately and he shall have the right to contact whoever he sees fit, to inform them of what has taken place or seek their assistance, in the manner regulated by the Law. He must be informed promptly of the charges against him, and he and his representative shall have the right to appeal before the judicial authorities against the measure which has restricted his personal freedom. The Law regulates his right of appeal in a manner which ensures that a judgement will be issued on it within a specified period, failing which he must be released.

Article (25) The right to litigation is sacrosanct and guaranteed to all people. The Law defines the procedures and circumstances required for exercising this right and the State guarantees, as far as possible, that the judicial authorities will reconcile the litigants and settle cases promptly.

Article (26) It is not permitted to perform any medical or scientific experiment on any person without his freely given consent.

Article (27) Dwellings are inviolable and it is not permitted to enter them without the permission of the owner or legal occupant, except in the circumstances specified by the Law and in the manner stipulated therein.

Article (28) The freedom to practice religious rites in accordance with recognised customs is guaranteed provided that it does not disrupt public order or conflict with accepted standards of behaviour.

Article (29) Freedom of opinion and expression, whether spoken, written or in other forms, is guaranteed within the limits of the Law.

Article (30) Freedom of postal, telegraphic, telephonic and other forms of communication is sacrosanct and their confidentiality is guaranteed. Hence, it is not permitted to monitor or inspect them, reveal their contents, or delay or confiscate them except in circumstances defined by the Law and in accordance with the procedures laid down therein.

Article (31) Freedom of the press, printing and publication is guaranteed in accordance with the conditions and circumstances defined by the Law. It is prohibited to print or publish material that leads to public discord, violates the security of the State or abuses a person’s dignity and his rights.

Article (32) Citizens have the right of assembly within the limits of the Law.

Article (33) The freedom to form associations on a national basis for legitimate objectives and in a proper manner, in a way that does not conflict with the stipulations and aims of this Basic Law, is guaranteed under the conditions and in the circumstances defined by the Law. It is forbidden to establish associations whose activities are inimical to social order, or are secret, or of a military nature. It is not permitted to force anyone to join any association.

Article (34) Citizens have the right to address the public authorities on personal matters or on matters related to public affairs, in the manner and on the conditions laid down by the Law.

Article (35) Every foreigner who is legally resident in the Sultanate shall have the right to protection of his person and his property in accordance with the Law. Foreigners shall have regard for society’s values and respect its traditions and customs.

Article (36) Extradition of political refugees is prohibited. Extradition of criminals is subject to the provisions of international laws and agreements.

Article (37) Defence of the homeland is a sacred duty, and rendering service in the Armed Forces is an honour for citizens regulated by the Law.

Article (38) Preserving national unity and safeguarding State secrets is a duty incumbent upon every citizen.

Article (39) Payment of taxes and public dues is a duty in accordance with the Law.

Article (40) Respect for the Basic Law of the State and the laws and ordinances issued by the public authorities, as well as observance of public order and public morals, is a duty incumbent upon all residents of the Sultanate.