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Singapore: Bans on Two Clerics and Certain Books

(Nov. 9, 2017) It was reported on October 30, 2017, that Singapore has banned two foreign Islamic religious leaders from preaching during cruises and has prohibited the circulation of four foreign books in the country. The Islamic clerics have been denied permission to enter Singapore for the purpose of joining religiously themed sea cruises scheduled […]

Turkey: Government Blocks Wikipedia

(May 3, 2017) On April 29, 2017, in accordance with Law No. 5651 on the regulation of Internet publications, Turkey’s Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA), under the Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications, issued an administrative order blocking all language editions of the Wikipedia website in Turkey.  (Akira Tomlinson, Turkey Blocks Wikipedia as […]

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, […]

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 […]

Egypt: New Council to Regulate and Supervise Media Outlets

(Jan. 10, 2017) On December 24, 2016, the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt issued Law No. 92 of 2016 on the Institutional Organization of the Press and the Media (OFFICIAL GAZETTE, No. 51 bis (Dec. 24, 2016), available at VETO GATE (in Arabic)). The Law provides for the establishment of the Supreme Council […]

Tanzania: New Law on Media Services

(Nov. 15, 2016) Tanzania’s legislature passed the Media Services Act, 2016, on November 5, 2016. (Tanzania: MPs Endorse Media Services Bill, ALL AFRICA (Nov. 6, 2016).) The text had been published as a bill in the country’s Gazette on August 26. (Media Services Act, 2016, 97 GAZETTE OF THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA (Aug. 26, […]

Indonesia: Revised Information Law Controversial

(Nov. 2, 2016) On October 27, 2016, Indonesia’s House of Representatives adopted a revision of the 2008 Law on Electronic Information and Transactions. The amended Law is now awaiting action by President Joko Widodo to put it into effect. (ITE Law Draft Revision Passed into Law, JAKARTA POST (Oct. 27, 2016); Undang-Undang Republik Indonesia Nomor […]

Madagascar: Controversial Mass Media Code Approved

(Sept. 9, 2016) A draft law on a Code of Media Communication was adopted by Madagascar’s Senate and National Assembly on July 13, 2016, and July 14, 2016, respectively. (Loi no 2016-029 portant Code de la Communication Médiatisée [Law 2016-029 Establishing the Code of Media Communication] (Code de la Communication Médiatisée), National Assembly website (July […]