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Saudi Arabia: Royal Decree Overturns Court Decision Against Female Journalist

(Dec. 4, 2009) On October 26, 2009, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia issued a royal decree abolishing a criminal court sentence of 60 lashes and a two-year travel ban against a female journalist, Rosanna Al-Yami. Al-Yami was sentenced for working at the Lebanese Broadcasting Corp. (LBC), which broadcast an episode of a television show known […]

Iraq: Council of Ministers Blocks All Websites Deemed in Violation of Islamic Sharia’a

(Aug. 20, 2009) On August 3, 2009, the Council of Ministers of Iraq issued a decision to create a committee to look into means to identify and block all websites that violate Islamic law (Sharia'a). The committee will include officials from the ministries of communications, higher education, and science and technology. Some Iraqi intellectuals have […]

Morocco: Court Approves Seizure of Newspapers Evaluating King’s Performance

(Aug. 20, 2009) On August 4, 2009, the Ministry of Internal Security of Morocco confiscated two weekly newspapers, TELQUEL and NICHANE, for publishing opinion polls about the King of Morocco that included questions about his performance over the past ten years. Moroccan authorities confiscated the newspapers without further explanation and destroyed 100,000 copies of both […]

Sudan: Woman Tried Under Sudanese Criminal Code for Wearing Pants

(Aug. 20, 2009) It was recently reported in the Saudi Arabian press that a Sudanese woman faces 40 lashes for wearing pants in public. The woman, who works as a journalist with the United Nations Mission in Sudan, is being tried under article 152 of the Sudanese Criminal Code of 1991. Article 152 provides for […]

Egypt: Measures Taken to Combat Bird and Swine Flu

(May 26, 2009) In order to combat bird and swine flu, on April 29, 2009, the People's Assembly of Egypt passed a law regulating the trade in live poultry. During the same session, the Parliament also ordered the executive branch to kill all 300,000 pigs in the country. As a precautionary measure to combat bird […]

Kuwait: Ministry of Justice Provides Marriage Certificate to Stateless Woman

(Apr. 27, 2009) On March 25, 2009, for the first time in Kuwait, a personal status court issued a decision compelling the Ministry of Justice to provide a marriage certificate to a woman considered to be “stateless” (bidun jinsiya). The term bidun jinsiya refers to individuals of foreign ancestry and to members of certain Bedouin […]

Saudi Arabia: Resolution Passed to Assist Children Suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder

(Mar. 16, 2009) The Council of Ministers of Saudi Arabia has issued Resolution 35/50 on assisting children who suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). The Resolution is considered a landmark law in the field of children's health. The newly issued Resolution promotes the creation of more children's clinics and health centers specialized in combating ADD. […]

Qatar: Expansion of Rights to Practice Law Recommended

(Feb. 13, 2009) On January 27, 2009, Qatar's Shura Council, an appointed body that evaluates proposed legislation, reviewed new amendments to article 4 of Law 23-2006 on the right to practice law. Under the current version of article 4, the Department of State Cases in the Ministry of Justice is the only government entity that […]

Iraq; United States: Parliament Approves Status-of-Forces Agreement

(Jan. 7, 2009) On November 27, 2008, the Iraqi Parliament approved the Status-of-Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the United States. SOFA calls for the withdrawal of the American forces from Iraqi cities by July 30, 2009, and from the entire country by 2011, with the exception of some elements of the U.S. Special Forces that will […]

Iraq: Parliament Approves Article 50 of the Provincial Election Law

(Nov. 20, 2008) On November 4, 2008, the Iraqi Parliament approved article 50 of the Provincial Election Law, on seats for religious minorities on provincial councils. Through the reinstatement of article 50, which had been removed from the Law when it was passed on September 24, 2008, the Provincial Election Law now recognizes the rights […]