Have you been made aware that a U.S. citizen was recently arrested in Oman?
Please ask the local authorities to notify the Embassy immediately. The Embassy can work to help protect the person and ensure fair treatment. The Embassy will visit the detained or arrested U.S. citizen, provide information about the local legal process, and provide a list of attorneys in Oman.
While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country’s laws and regulations which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States, and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law.
Persons violating Omani laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. If you break local laws in Oman, your U.S. citizenship will not help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It is very important to know what is legal and what is illegal wherever you go. If arrested in Oman, a U.S. citizen must go through the foreign legal process including possible charge or indictment, prosecution, possible conviction and sentencing, and any appeals process.
The Consular Officer’s Role
When a detained or arrested U.S. citizen states his/her citizenship and requests notification to their U.S. consular representatives, Omani authorities will inform U.S. Embassy Muscat of the detention of that American citizen. The Consular officer will visit the U.S. citizen as soon as possible after notification. On the initial visit, the consular officer will check on the well-being of the detainee and the circumstances of the arrest, provide a list of attorneys, and ask for a Privacy Act Waiver to provide authorization for the consular officer to contact family or friends about the arrest.
If authorized by the citizen to do so, the consular officer will notify the person’s family and relay requests for financial or other assistance. Consular Officers in Muscat try to visit detained American citizens in pre-trial status once every three months. For convicted prisoners, visits are scheduled every six to twelve months. The U.S. Embassy is obliged to bring evidence of maltreatment or discrimination to the attention of Omani authorities at the citizen’s request.
What We Can Do for Arrested Americans
- Help you replace a lost/stolen passport.
- Help you find appropriate medical care if you are injured.
- Assist you with emergency needs.
- Help you contact your family, friends, or employer, if you wish.
- Provide you with general information about the criminal justice process in Oman
- Provide you with a list of attorneys practicing in Oman.
What We Cannot Do
- Provide legal advice or represent you in court.
- Pay legal fees or other expenses for you.
- Request preferential treatment for U.S. citizens during legal proceedings in the Sultanate of Oman.