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Pakistan: Sindh Provincial Assembly Passes New Law Prohibiting Forced Religious Conversion

(Dec. 22, 2016) On November 24, 2016, the provincial assembly of Pakistan’s Sindh Province passed a new law called the Criminal Law (Protection of Minorities) Act, 2015, which prohibits forced religious conversions.  (Hufsa Chaudhry & Imtiaz Mugheri, Sindh Assembly Adopts Bill Against Forced Religious Conversions, DAWN (Nov. 24, 2016).) The private bill was proposed in December […]

Bangladesh: Controversial New Law Regulating Work and Activities of Foreign NGOs

(Nov. 25, 2016) On October 5, 2016, Bangladesh’s Parliament passed a controversial new law called the Foreign Donations (Voluntary Activities) Regulation Law 2016, which regulates the work and activities of foreign-funded nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).  (Foreign Donations (Voluntary Activities) Regulation Act, 2016, Act. No. 43 of 2016, Bangladesh Parliament website (in Bangla).)  The new law came […]

Pakistan: National Assembly Passes Hindu Marriage Bill

(Nov. 15, 2016) On September 26, 2016, the Hindu Marriage Bill was unanimously passed in Pakistan’s National Assembly, after three previous failed attempts to pass the bill in 2008, 2011, and 2012. (Kalbe Ali, NA Finally Passes Hindu Marriage Bill, DAWN (Sept. 27, 2016); Hamza Ameer, Why Is Pakistan Afraid of Passing the Hindu Marriage […]

Maldives: President Ratifies First Amendment of Freedom of Peaceful Assembly Act

(Oct. 18, 2016) On August 23, 2016, the President of Maldives, Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, ratified the first amendment made to the country’s Freedom of Peaceful Assembly Act. The amendment stipulates that street protests, marches, parades, and “other such gatherings can only be held with written permission from the police, or in areas designated by […]

Pakistan: National Assembly Passes New Cybercrime Law

(Sept. 21, 2016) On August 11, 2016, Pakistan’s lower house, the National Assembly, passed a controversial cybercrime law called the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016. The Senate had unanimously passed the law, with a number of amendments, in July. (Raza Khan, Cyber Crime Bill Passed by NA: 13 Reasons Pakistanis Should Be Worried, DAWN […]

Afghanistan: Government Inaugurates Judicial Anti-Corruption Center

(Aug. 3, 2016) On June 30, 2016, after two years of discussions held among the leaders of the national unity government, Afghanistan inaugurated a center to fight corruption in the country. (Eftetahe Markaze Qazae-e Mubareza Ba Fasade Edari Dar Afghanistan [Inauguration of Judicial Center for Combatting Corruption in Afghanistan], BBC PERSIAN (June 30, 2016).) At […]

Canada: Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Workers’ Compensation for Medical Workers with Cancer

(Aug. 1, 2016) On June 24, 2016, in a 6-1 decision, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in favor of three medical laboratory technicians who sought workers’ compensation for the breast cancer that they claimed to have developed as a result of their occupation. The Supreme Court upheld the original decision of the Workers’ Compensation […]

Afghanistan: Government Announces New Draft Penal Code

(July 1, 2016) On May 1, 2016, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Justice announced that a draft of the first part of a new penal code has been finalized. (Maryam Hussaini, Peshnawais Code Jazaee Afghanistan Nehaee Shod [The Draft of the Afghanistan Penal Code Is Finalized], 8AM.AF, (May 13, 2016).) At a press conference in Kabul, Minister […]

Pakistan: Regulatory Authority Bans Two Ramadan Programs

(June 29, 2016) On June 17, 2016, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), an independent television and radio regulator, banned the transmission of two Ramadan TV specials, as one news report notes, for violating PEMRA’s Electronic Media Code of Conduct rules by “promoting controversial and sectarian views.” (Following Threats, PEMRA Puts a Lid on […]

Pakistan: Bills Introduced on Increased Representation of Women in the Supreme Court

(May 26, 2016) On May 16, 2016, a member of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and former law minister, Babar Awan, introduced a private member’s bill in the Senate, the upper house of Pakistan’s federal legislature, that would amend the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act, 1997, to provide greater “representation of women” in Pakistan’s […]