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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Denmark: Blasphemy Law Repealed

(July 6, 2017) On June 8, 2017, the Danish Parliament repealed the blasphemy provision in the Danish Penal Code.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, […]

France: Law to Help Youth Transition to Adulthood and to Further Equality

(Mar. 20, 2017) At the end of January 2017, the French President promulgated a new law aimed at helping young people successfully transition into adulthood. (Loi n° 2017-86 du 27 janvier 2017 relative à l’égalité et à la citoyenneté [Law No. 2017-86 of 27 January 2017 Regarding Equality and Citizenship], LEGIFRANCE.) The law is organized […]

Iran: Charter on Citizens’ Rights Signed

(Feb. 28, 2017) With the aim of “recovering and promoting citizens’ rights,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, under his constitutional authority to “determine the program and policies of the government,” signed the Charter on Citizens’ Rights in a ceremony on December 19, 2016.  (Rouhani Unveils Charter on Civil Rights; Vagueness Regarding “Enforcement Guarantee,” VOA (Dec. 19, […]

Japan: Google Does Not Have to Delete Search Results Related to Arrest

(Feb. 21, 2017) On January 31, 2017, Japan’s Supreme Court rejected a petitioner’s demand that Google remove web search results that show reports of his arrest for child prostitution in 2011. (Heisei 28 (Kyo) 45 (S. Ct., Jan. 31, 2017), COURTS IN JAPAN (click Chinese characters beside the pdf icon).) The petitioner in the case claimed […]

Kenya: High Court Declares Penal Code Provision on Criminal Defamation Unconstitutional

(Feb. 14, 2017) On February 6, 2017, the Constitutional and Human Rights Division of the High Court of Kenya at Nairobi found unconstitutional article 194 of the country’s 1930 Penal Code, which relates to criminal defamation.  (Jacqueline Okuta & another v Attorney General & 2 others [2017] eKLR, Kenya Law website.)  Two individuals, Jacqueline Okuta and […]

Vanuatu: Right to Information Law Comes into Force

(Feb. 10, 2017) On February 6, 2017, Vanuatu’s first freedom of information law came into effect, following the unanimous passage of the law by the Parliament on November 24, 2016. (Right to Information Becomes Law in Vanuatu, RADIO NEW ZEALAND (Feb. 8, 2017); Jane Joshua, PINA and MAV Laud Historic RTI Law, VANUATU DAILY POST (Feb. 7, 2017); […]

Saudi Arabia: Journalist Sentenced to Seven Years of Imprisonment

(Feb. 7, 2017) On January 26, 2017, a Saudi journalist was sentenced to seven years in prison after a Saudi Arabian court convicted him of committing crimes against the national security of the state.  (Saudi Writer Jailed for Seven Years, KUWAIT TIMES (Jan. 26, 2017).)  The Criminal Court of Riyadh, which is a specialized court […]