Oman. The Arab Spring was expressed in Oman in demands
for higher wages, lower prices and reduced corruption,
rather than for radical political changes. In the important
industrial city of Sohar, where a giant harbor was recently
completed, 2,000 young people demonstrated on February 27-28
that the port had not given the jobs they hoped for.
Countryaah official site, the
protesters set fire to several government buildings, after
which the police and military broke down the protests and a
demonstrator was killed.
The protests continued during the spring both in Sohar,
where another demonstrator was killed on April 1, in the
capital Muskat and elsewhere. The human rights organization
Amnesty International criticized the regime for crimes
against freedom of speech.
Sultan Qabus ibn Said, who is both head of state and
government, handled the protests by dismissing a total of
twelve ministers and promising, among other things, 50,000
new jobs and increased grants in various forms. He also
promised that the country's parliament, which had only
advisory power, would have certain legislative powers which
he did not specify. An election to Parliament's lower house,
Majlis ash-Shura, on October 15 attracted no major interest.