Oman's Information Minister Hamad bin Mohammed al Rashdi has described recent media reports about mass arrests in the Sultanate as "exaggerated and misleading." In comments published Monday by Oman Observer, he stated, however, that the authorities had detained some individuals who had attempted to form a group with the aim of "endangering national security."
Al Rashdi's remarks came in response to queries by Oman News Agency seeking official clarification of claims in the media about large-scale detentions of citizens. "Yes, there were some detentions, but one should not exaggerate matters and blow them out of proportion," he said, noting that the Sultanate was not the only country to take such action in the context of efforts to safeguard national security.
Asked about media claims that up to 300 citizens were detained by the authorities, Al Rashdi declined to elaborate on an issue he stressed was an "internal matter". He also explained that the government did not wish to publicise the issue in the media and identify the detainees concerned, purely to justify its legal actions in this regard.