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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 […]

Sri Lanka: Electronic Media Authority Being Considered

(Apr. 26, 2016) Sri Lanka’s government is considering establishing an independent body that would regulate electronic media. The authority would be empowered and required to investigate complaints made against electronic media. The authority would be created with the input of media stakeholders; government officials noted that the body would not be designed to control media […]

United Nations: Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals Arrests French Journalist

(Apr. 6, 2016) The United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) on March 24, 2016, arrested French journalist Florence Hartmann, based on a warrant issued in November 2011 by the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).  (Press Release, MICT, Mechanism Arrests Contempt Convict (Mar. 24, 2016); Jacqueline Jones, […]

Maldives: Draft Law Would Criminalize Defamation

(Mar. 29, 2016) On March 22, 2016, the government of the Maldives submitted draft legislation to the parliament that would criminalize defamation. Even before the formal introduction of the draft law, the political opposition and journalists protested the proposal as a restriction on freedom of speech.  The Bill on Defamation and Freedom of Speech, written […]

Poland: Controversial Proposals and Measures on Surveillance Law, Constitutional Tribunal, and Media Law

(Feb. 3, 2016) Poland’s government is planning legal changes that would increase the surveillance over the country’s citizens. The new provisions, proposed by the ruling Law and Justice Party, would increase the government’s access to digital data while reducing restrictions on the use of surveillance by the police. (Dominic Yobbi, Thousands March in Poland to […]

Egypt: Journalist and Human Rights Activist Released from Military Detention

(Nov. 16, 2015) On November 10, 2015, the Office of the Military Prosecution issued a temporary release for Hossam Bahgat, a journalist and human rights activist, who had been in detention for two days. Before his release, Bahgat had to sign a document stating that he must abide by all legal and security procedures when […]