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Egypt: Draft Law Criminalizes Homosexuality

(Nov. 1, 2017) On October 25, 2017, members of the Council of Representatives (parliament) of Egypt proposed a draft law to criminalize what they describe as “acts of homosexuality.” Rayad Abdel Sattar, one of the Members of Parliament who submitted the draft law, stated that the main goal of the draft law is to constrain […]

Egypt: Fatwa Permits Females to Have Permanent Tattoos

(Oct. 18, 2017) On October 9, 2017, the former Grand Mufti of Egypt (the main, official religious scholar), Sheik Ali Gomaa, issued a new fatwa (religious decree) allowing women to have permanent inked tattoos on their bodies. However, the same religious decree bans males from getting permanent tattoos. (Getting Tattoo Permissible for Girls, Sin for […]

Egypt: Draft Amendment to Citizenship Law

(Oct. 4, 2017) On September 21, 2017, the Council of Ministers of Egypt (the Cabinet) approved an amendment to Law No. 26 of 1975 on Citizenship. The Council has referred the new amendment to the Council of Representatives (Egypt’s unicameral parliament) for a vote. (Egypt Amends Law to Strip Citizenship from Those Convicted in Crimes […]

United Arab Emirates: New Law Issued Creating Value-Added Tax on Transactions

(Oct. 3, 2017) On August 28, 2017, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Finance announced the issuance of Federal Law No. 8 of 2017 on Value-Added Tax (VAT). (Federal Law No. 8 of 2017 on VAT, UAE Ministry of Finance website (Aug. 28, 2017) (click on the PDF icon to view text of the law).) […]

Saudi Arabia: Royal Decree Allows Women to Be Issued Driving Licenses

(Oct. 3, 2017) On September 26, 2017, the King of Saudi Arabia, King Salman, issued a royal decree to add new provisions to Royal Decree M/85 on Traffic.  The new decree gives women the right to be issued a driving license and creates a government authority to execute its provisions within 30 days from the […]

Tunisia: Government Lifts Ban on Inter-Religious Marriages

(Sept. 19, 2017) On September 14, 2017, the Tunisian government lifted a ban on inter-religious marriages between Muslim Tunisian females and non-Muslim males. (Tunisia Lifts Ban on Muslim Women Marrying Non-Muslims, AL JAZEERA (Sept. 14, 2017).) This measure was issued by Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi.  During his speech on the national Women’s Day that […]

Egypt: Calls for New Constitutional Amendments

(Aug. 29, 2017) On August 16, 2017, members of Egypt’s Council of Representatives (the parliament) suggested revisions to a number of articles of the 2014 Constitution, including articles 103, 140, 146, and 190.)  (Slah Issah, The Three Dimensions of Constitution Amendments, AL-MASRY AL-YOUM (Aug. 11, 2017) (in Arabic); Egypt’s Constitution of 2014, CONSTITUTE PROJECT.) The […]

Qatar: Anti-Terror Legislation Amended

(Aug. 16, 2017) On July 20, 2017, the Amir of Qatar issued Decree No. 4 of 2017 to amend Law No. 11 of 2004 on combating terrorism. Decree No. 4 of 2017 covers the definition of acts of terrorism.  (Qatar Amir Issues Decree to Amend Provisions of Anti-Terror Law, AL ARABIYA (July 20, 2017).) Specifically, […]

Jordan: Repeal of Controversial Article in Penal Code

(Aug. 8, 2017) On August 1, 2017, the majority of members of the lower house (House of Representatives) of the Jordanian parliament voted to repeal article 308 of the Penal Code, which had allowed rapists to avoid a jail term if they married the victim. (Zena Tahhan, ‘Historic Day’ as Jordanian Parliament Repeals Rape Law, […]

Kuwait: Counter Terrorism Legislation Proposed By MP

(Aug. 3, 2017) On July 24, 2017, Waleed Al-Tabtabai, a Kuwaiti Member of Parliament, proposed legislation calling for prison terms for Hezbollah backers. The draft legislation proposes that members and supporters of Lebanon’s Hezbollah political party who might be active in Kuwait be sentenced upon conviction to up to 20 years’ imprisonment. (Kuwait MP Proposes Jail Terms […]