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Sweden: Supreme Court Rules Live Broadcast of Rape Is Aggravated Defamation but Not Violation of Duty to Report Ongoing Rape

(Aug. 8, 2018) On July 2, 2018, the Swedish Supreme Court ruled that a man who had filmed an ongoing rape and broadcast it on Facebook Live was guilty of aggravated defamation (grovt förtal) but not of the crime of failure to report a rape. (Högsta domstolen [Swedish Supreme Court], Case No. B 3552-17 (July […]

Brazil: Supreme Court Allows Satire of Political Candidates

(June 26, 2018) On June 21, 2018, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal, STF) ruled as unconstitutional provisions of the Elections Law that prevented radio and television broadcasters from running humorous programs ridiculing or lampooning candidates, political parties, and coalitions in the three months prior to an election. (Lei das Eleições, Lei No. […]

Malaysia: Anti-Fake News Act Comes into Force

(Apr. 19, 2018) The Anti-Fake News Act 2018 was published in the Federal Gazette of Malaysia on April 11, 2018, coming into effect that day. (Anti-Fake News Act 2018 (Act 803), Federal Gazette website.) The Act was passed by the Malaysian Parliament on April 4 and received Royal Assent on April 9. The Act defines […]

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); […]