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Afghanistan: Appeals Court Upholds 20-Year Sentence for Koran Translators

(June 15, 2009) A court in Afghanistan sentenced two men to 20 years of imprisonment for modifying the Koran in their Dari-language translation of the religious book, sparing them the maximum punishment. An appeals court upheld the decision. The crime of modification of the Holy Quran is punishable by death. The defendants were Ahmad Ghaws […]

Afghanistan: New Law Places Restrictions on Women

(June 12, 2009) A controversial Afghan law that many Western analysts equate with legalizing rape was put into force after it received the approval of the Afghanistan Parliament (both the lower and upper house) and was signed into law by the President Hamid Karzai in March 2009. “The passage of the law has amounted to […]

Iran: Council of Ministers Approves Lowering Voting Age

(June 12, 2009) With the purpose of extending the opportunity for young people to participate more effectively in presidential elections, the Council of Ministers of Iran approved a decree reducing the voting age from 18 to 15. The brief mention of the decree appeared in HAMSHAHRI NEWSPAPER on April 22, 2009. (Voting Age Reduced from […]

Iran: Supreme Court Upholds Retaliation Punishment

(May 18, 2009) The Supreme Court turned down the appeal of a man who by throwing acid into the eyes of a woman turned her blind. The 27-year old, Majid, whose insistence on marrying the woman, Ameneh, failed to win her positive response, decided to deprive her of her sight by throwing acid into her […]

Iran: New Women’s Inheritance Law Is Enforced

(May 15, 2009) The Iranian government has begun implementing controversial legislation that allows women to inherit all forms of their husband's property. According to Article 946 of the Civil Code of Iran, which is based on Islamic law, the “[h]usband inherits all the property of the deceased wife, but the wife of a deceased husband […]

Iran: Bill on Trial of War Criminals

(May 15, 2009) The Iranian government's cabinet approved a bill to launch investigations into alleged war crimes and prosecute war criminals in any part of the world. The bill will be sent to the House for ratification. The bill will become a law after an endorsement by the Guardian Council. The measure was taken following […]

Iran: Tax Exemption Ceiling for Civil Servants Raised

(Apr. 14, 2009) It was reported on April 8, 2009, that Iran's Taxation Department has raised the tax exemption ceiling to about five million tomans per month for civil servants, judges, and academic members of universities and institutes of higher education and research (1,000 tomans is about US$1). The salaries of such taxpayers will be […]

Iran: Stoning-to-Death Conviction of Two Sisters Overturned

(Mar. 27, 2009) Supported by a video tape as the main evidence, along with complaints lodged by their husbands, two women were tried at the first criminal court in Tehran, found guilty of adultery, and sentenced to death by stoning. Under intense pressure and the objections of domestic and international human rights organizations, the head […]

Rwanda: Law Passed to Determine New Constituencies for Women Parliamentarians

(Sept. 5, 2008) It was reported in May 2008 that a presidential decree is set to determine new constituencies for women parliamentarians in Rwanda, who are elected by electoral colleges through the National Women's Council. The need to revise the constituencies became inevitable after the 2006 territorial administrative reforms, which saw the number of provinces […]

Iran: Eight Women, One Man Are Awaiting Stoning to Death

(Sept. 5, 2008) Under Iran's Islamic criminal law (article 83), stoning to death is the punishment for the following acts: 1- Adultery committed by a married man. A married man is a man who has a “permanent” wife and, while of sane mind, has had sexual intercourse with her and may have sexual intercourse with […]