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Sweden: Jehovah’s Witnesses Have Right to State Funding

(Feb. 24, 2017) On February 20, 2017, the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court decided that Jehovah’s Witnesses have the right to state funding and that not providing such support would violate articles 14 and 19 of the European Convention on Human Rights. (Case No. 2310-16, Högsta förvaltningsdomstolen [Swedish Supreme Administrative Court], Feb. 20, 2017, HÖGSTA FÖRVALTNINGSDOMSTOLEN […]

ECtHR/Switzerland: Compulsory Co-Ed Swim Classes Do Not Infringe Freedom of Religion

(Jan. 24, 2017) On January 10, 2017, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) held unanimously that a decision of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court, which upheld an administrative fine for the refusal of Muslim parents to send their 9- and 11-year-old daughters to compulsory co-ed swim lessons as part of their schooling, did not […]

Sweden: Separate Swimming Hours by Gender Justifiable

(Jan. 12, 2017) The Swedish Diskrimineringsombudsmannen (DO, Equality Ombudsman) has issued two decisions on the legality of separate hours for men and women at public indoor pools. (Press Release, Könsseparerade simhallstider kan vara diskriminering [Gender-Segregated Pool Hours May Be Discriminatory], DO website (Dec. 14, 2016).) The role of the Equality Ombudsman is regulated by the […]

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 […]

Pakistan: Sindh Provincial Assembly Passes Law to Establish Commission for Protection of Minority Rights

(Dec. 19, 2016) In what Assembly-member Nand Kumar Goklani called “a victory for the entire province,” Pakistan’s Sindh Province Assembly has unanimously adopted a private bill to establish a commission to protect the rights of religious minorities.  (Sindhi Assembly Stamps Commission for Minorities, NATION (Nov. 18, 2016).)  The Sindh Minorities Rights Commission Bill, 2015, was […]

Russia: Strengthening of Punishment for Extremism

(July 18, 2016) On July 6, 2016, the President of the Russian Federation signed into law the recently adopted Federal Law No. 375 on Amending the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation and the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation in Regard to Creating Additional Measures Aimed at Countering Terrorism and Protecting Public […]

Russia: New Law Regulates Missionary Work

(July 14, 2016) On July 6, 2016, the President of the Russian Federation signed the recently adopted Federal Law No. 374 on Amending the Federal Law on Counterterrorism and Select Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation Concerning the Creation of Additional Measures Aimed at Countering Terrorism and Protecting Public Safety. (Federal Law No. 374, PRAVO.GOV.RU […]

Canada: Government Drops Appeal to Supreme Court over Niqab Ban During Citizenship Ceremonies

(Nov. 27, 2015) On November 16, 2015, John McCallum, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and Jody Wilson-Raybould, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, issued a joint statement stating that the recently elected Liberal government would discontinue a request for appeal of a recent ruling of the Federal Court of Canada […]

Cameroon: Far North Region Bans Burka, Face-Covering Veils

(July 22, 2015) It was reported on July 17, 2015, that Cameroon’s Far North Region instituted a ban on July 15 against women wearing burkas (a covering for the face and the whole body) and veils that cover the face. The ban comes in the aftermath of two suicide bombings, said to have been instigated […]

United Arab Emirates: New Law Banning Discrimination

(July 22, 2015) On July 20, 2015, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) issued a law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religion or ethnic identity. The law also bans discrimination on the grounds of caste, doctrine, color, or race. (Steven Wildberger, UAE Issues Religious Tolerance Law, PAPER CHASE (July 21, 2015).) The Attorney-General of the […]