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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 […]

Netherlands: Enhanced Police Powers for Missing Person Investigations

(July 28, 2017) On July 19, 2017, consultation via the Internet opened for draft legislation that would speed up missing person investigations by giving Dutch police enhanced powers to request information pertaining to the whereabouts of such persons. The information the police might be able to solicit includes mobile phone and debit card usage, records […]

Germany: Law on Insulting Foreign Leaders Abolished

(July 26, 2017) On July 17, 2017, an act that abolishes the criminal law provision that made it a crime to insult a foreign head of state, a member of a foreign government who is in Germany in his official capacity, or a head of a foreign diplomatic mission who is accredited in Germany was […]

Bahrain: Two-Year Imprisonment for Publishing Rumors and False News

(July 19, 2017) On July 10, 2017, the High Criminal Court in Manama, Bahrain, convicted Nabeel Rajab, a human rights activist, of “publishing and disseminating rumours and false news” and sentenced him to two years of imprisonment. (Bahrain: Jail Term for Human Rights Defender Nabeel Rajab Exposes Authorities’ Relentless Campaign to Wipe out Dissent, Amnesty […]

Denmark: Blasphemy Law Repealed

(July 6, 2017) On June 8, 2017, the Danish Parliament repealed the blasphemy provision in the Danish Penal Code. The repeal took effect on the day after publication in the Lovtidende (Danish official gazette), i.e., on June 10, 2017.  (Lov om ændring af straffeloven, LOV nr 675 af 08/06/2017 [Law on Amending the Penal Code, […]

Israel: Increase in Prisoners’ Living Space Mandated

(June 30, 2017) On June 13, 2017, Israel’s Supreme Court, sitting as a High Court of Justice, accepted petitions submitted by several associations and ordered the state to increase the personal living space allotted to every prisoner in the country within the next nine months to a minimum of three square meters (SM; approx. 32.3 […]

United Arab Emirates: Good Samaritan Pays Blood Money to Save Young Men from Execution

(June 15, 2017) An appeals court in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, issued a decision on May 25, 2017, absolving ten young Indian men from Punjab of the murder of a Pakistani fellow worker. The men were pardoned after a Dubai-based businessman paid blood money to the victim’s father.  (Anju Agnihotri Chaba, Back from Death […]

Uganda: Parliament Passes Anti-Terrorism Amendment Bill

(June 8, 2017) On April 5, 2017, the Ugandan Parliament reportedly passed the Anti-Terrorism Amendment Bill, 2017, which aims to make changes to the definitions of what constitutes “terrorism” and “an act of terrorism” under current law in order to ensure that the relevant Ugandan law is in keeping with “the revised international aspects envisaged by […]