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Saudi Arabia: Riyadh High Court Waives Requirement for Women to Fully Cover Their Faces in Courthouse

(Feb. 8, 2018) For the first time in its history, the High Court of Riyadh is no longer requiring women to fully cover their faces when they visit the Riyadh courthouse. (Fatimah Al-Dabees, Riyadh Court Waives Condition of Covering the Face and Is Satisfied with Hijab, OKAZ (Dec. 25, 2017) (in Arabic).) The Chief Justice […]

Egypt: Parliament Discusses New Bills Criminalizing Atheism and Homosexuality

(Jan. 26, 2018) On December 24, 2017, the Committee on Religion of Egypt’s Council of Representatives discussed a bill that would make atheism a crime punishable under the Egyptian Penal Code. (Egyptian Parliament Discusses Plans to Criminalise Atheism, EGYPTIAN STREETS (Dec. 24, 2017).) Previously on November 9, 2017, an Egyptian lawmaker proposed a bill criminalizing […]

Israel: Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Constitutionality of FATCA’s Implementation

(Jan. 25, 2018) On January 2, 2018, Israel’s Supreme Court, sitting as a High Court of Justice, issued its reasoning for its decision of September 12, 2016, rejecting a petition challenging the constitutionality of the Income Tax Ordinance (Amendment No. 227) Law, 5776-2016 (Amendment Law). The main decision was rendered by Justice Hanan Melcer, with […]

Netherlands: Human Rights Institute Rules Police Administrative Staffer Can Wear Hijab with Uniform

(Dec. 1, 2017) On November 20, 2017, the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights (College voor de rechten van de mens), an independent supervisory body established in 2002 that took over the tasks of the Dutch Equal Rights Commission, issued a non-binding ruling to the effect that the Dutch police were wrong to prohibit a Muslim […]

Germany: Personal Status Act Must Allow Third Gender Option for Intersex People

(Nov. 20, 2017) In a decision published on November 8, 2017, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) held that the Personal Status Act is incompatible with the German Basic Law, the country’s constitution, to the extent that it only allows the registration of a female or male gender at birth or no gender entry […]

Indonesia: Constitutional Court Opens Way to Recognition of Native Faiths

(Nov. 17, 2017) On November 7, 2017, Indonesia’s Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi Republik Indonesia) issued a decision that will allow Indonesians who follow native faiths to list their religions on official forms.  According to Justice Arief Hidayat, several articles in the Law on Population Administration are discriminatory and “contradict the 1945 Constitution and these articles […]

Austria/European Court of Human Rights: No Discrimination If Heterosexual Couple Is Denied Access to Registered Partnership

(Nov. 16, 2017) On October 26, 2017, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) held in a five to two decision that there is no violation of article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) in conjunction with article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) when registered […]

Sweden: Court Rules Accommodating Deaf Professor Would Place Disproportional Burden on State Employer

(Nov. 3, 2017) On October 11, 2017, the Swedish Arbetsdomstol (Labor Court) held that a deaf man could be denied a position as lector at a university, even though he was the best qualified applicant, because the cost of translating his lectures from sign language would be too great. (Labor Court, Decision No. 51/17, Case […]

Bahrain: Women’s Rights Activists Launch Campaign to Amend Citizenship Law

(Oct. 31, 2017) The Bahrain Human Rights Watch Society (BHRWS), in conjunction with other Bahrain women’s rights groups and various Members of Parliament (MPs) and the business community, has launched a campaign to extend equal citizenship rights to women by amending a provision of the country’s citizenship law.  (Huge Support for Gender Equality in Bahrain’s […]

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 […]