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Austria: Full-Face Veil Ban Enters Into Force

(Nov. 3, 2017) On October 1, 2017, a ban on full-face veils in public places and buildings entered into force in Austria.  According to section 1 of the Anti-Face Veil Act, the Act aims to “further integration by strengthening participation in society and by promoting peaceful coexistence in Austria.”  (Bundesgesetz über das Verbot der Verhüllung […]

Egypt: Draft Law Criminalizes Homosexuality

(Nov. 1, 2017) On October 25, 2017, members of the Council of Representatives (parliament) of Egypt proposed a draft law to criminalize what they describe as “acts of homosexuality.” Rayad Abdel Sattar, one of the Members of Parliament who submitted the draft law, stated that the main goal of the draft law is to constrain […]

United Nations: Rights Office Concerned About Arrests of LGBT Individuals

(Oct. 31, 2017) On October 13, 2017, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) held a press briefing in Geneva, Switzerland, expressing concern about the arrests of more than 180 people, thought to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT), in three countries: Azerbaijan, Egypt, and Indonesia. There were 80 […]

Egypt: Fatwa Permits Females to Have Permanent Tattoos

(Oct. 18, 2017) On October 9, 2017, the former Grand Mufti of Egypt (the main, official religious scholar), Sheik Ali Gomaa, issued a new fatwa (religious decree) allowing women to have permanent inked tattoos on their bodies. However, the same religious decree bans males from getting permanent tattoos. (Getting Tattoo Permissible for Girls, Sin for […]

Israel: High Court Strikes Down Draft Exemption for Ultra-Orthodox

(Sept. 25, 2017) On September 12, 2017, Israel’s Supreme Court, sitting as a High Court of Justice with an extended bench, ruled eight to one to strike down amendment numbers 19 and 21 of the Defense Service [Consolidated Version] Law, 5746-1986, which had introduced a new framework for the deferment and exemption of Haredim (ultra-Orthodox […]

Israel: High Court Rejects Petition to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages

(Sept. 11, 2017) On August 31, 2017, Israel’s Supreme Court, sitting as a High Court of Justice, unanimously rejected a petition by Israel’s LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) Task Force and individual petitioners. Petitioners had requested that the Court  recognize same-sex marriages and declare that sections 1-2 of the Rabbinical Court Jurisdiction Law, 5713-1953, […]

Canada: Senate Passes Landmark Transgender Rights Bill

(Sept. 11, 2017) On June 15, 2017, the Transgender Rights Bill C-16 passed the third reading in the Senate of Canada, with a 67-11 vote.  (Phil Heidenreich, Senate Passes Bill C-16 Which Defends Transgender Rights, GLOBAL NEWS (June 16 2017).)  The bill officially became law on June 19, when royal assent to it was granted. […]

Belgium/European Court of Human Rights: Ban on Full-Face Veil in Public Does Not Violate European Convention on Human Rights

(Aug. 30, 2017) On July 11, 2017, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) unanimously ruled that Belgium’s ban on wearing an Islamic full-face veil in public does not violate the European Convention on Human Rights. (Affaire Belcacemi et Oussar c. Belgique [Case of Belcacemi and Oussar v. Belgium], Judgment (July 11 2017), Application No. […]

Afghanistan: Cyber Crime Code Signed into Law

(Aug. 16, 2017) On June 20, 2017, Afghanistan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani signed into law the Cyber Crime Code, which forms part of the country’s new Penal Code. (Walasmashar Da Internete Jarmono Qanon Tawshih Karry [President Signed the Law of Cybercrimes], PAJHWAK Pashto (June 20, 2017).)  The Penal Code is being drafted by the Law Enforcement […]