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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).) […]

Pakistan: National Assembly Passes New Cybercrime Law

(Sept. 21, 2016) On August 11, 2016, Pakistan’s lower house, the National Assembly, passed a controversial cybercrime law called the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016. The Senate had unanimously passed the law, with a number of amendments, in July. (Raza Khan, Cyber Crime Bill Passed by NA: 13 Reasons Pakistanis Should Be Worried, DAWN […]

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 […]

Cambodia: Opposition Legislator Arrested on Charges of Incitement

(Apr. 14, 2016) On April 10, 2016, Cambodian authorities arrested Um Sam An, an opposition legislator. He had been critical of the way the government had determined the border of Cambodia with neighboring Vietnam. His arrest in Siem Reap province, shortly after he returned from a trip to the United States, was announced by Khieu […]

Egypt: Female Writer Sentenced to Three Years’ Imprisonment for Insulting Islam

(Apr. 5, 2016) On March 31, 2016, the Cairo Court of Appeals upheld the finding of a court of first instance that Fatima Naout, an Egyptian writer and thinker, was guilty of the crime of insulting religion under article 98(f) of the country’s Penal Code. (The Court Upheld the Imprisonment Decision of Egyptian Writer Fatima […]