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Bahrain: Lawyer Charged with Insulting Government

(Dec. 7, 2016) On November 10, 2016, public prosecutors in Bahrain brought three charges against Mohamed al-Tajer, an attorney and human rights activist.  The charges are insulting government institutions, inciting hatred against a religious group, and misusing telecommunications. (Bahrain: Human Rights Lawyer Charged, Human Rights Watch website (Dec. 1, 2016).)  These charges are based on […]

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 […]

Singapore: Teenage Blogger Sentenced to Jail Time

(Oct. 5, 2016) It was reported on September 30, 2016, that a 17-year-old blogger in Singapore was sentenced to six weeks in jail on charges of “wounding religious feelings” after he “pleaded guilty to posting comments on the Internet criticizing Christianity and Islam.” (Emelina Perez, Singapore Court Jails Teen Blogger, PAPER CHASE (Sept. 30, 2016).) […]

France: Dismissal of Whistleblowers Illegal

(Sept. 8, 2016) On June 30, 2016 the Cour de Cassation (France’s Supreme Court for civil and criminal matters) ruled that the dismissal of whistleblowers is illegal. (Arrêt n° 1309 du 30 juin 2016 (15-10.557) [Judgment No. 1309 of June 30, 2016 (15-10557)] COUR DE CASSATION – CHAMBRE SOCIALE – ECLI:FR:CCASS:2016:SO01309, Cour de Cassation website.) The Cour […]

Japan: New Act Targets Hate Speech Against Persons from Outside Japan

(Aug. 31, 2016) In Japan, “hate speech” against people with a specific ethnic origin has become a social issue. (Summary of Press Conference by Minister of Justice After Cabinet Meeting (Jan. 16, 2015), Ministry of Justice (MOJ) (in Japanese).)  The MOJ released a report on hate speech in March 2016 that stated that there were […]

Bahrain: High Court Orders Dissolution of Main Shi’ite Opposition Group

(July 22, 2016) On July 17, 2016, the High Civil Court of Manama, Bahrain ordered the dissolution of the Wefaq National Islamic Society. The Court’s ruling ordered the liquidation of the organization’s assets and froze all of its banks accounts. (High Court Dissolves al Wefaq, BAHRAIN NEWS AGENCY (July 7, 2016).) The Court rendered its […]

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 Electronic Surveillance Rules

(July 18, 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 […]

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 […]