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Egypt: New Measures to Combat a Possible Second Wave of COVID-19 Cases Implemented

(Nov. 18, 2020) On November 16, 2020, the Egyptian Ministry of Interior (homeland security) announced that it had begun enforcing new legal measures against individuals violating anti-COVID-19 precautionary protocols. The ministry said that law enforcement personnel had issued 4,975 tickets against public transportation drivers who were not wearing face masks. The previous week, on November […]

Jordan: New Executive Regulations on Preventive Measures to Combat COVID-19 Issued

(Nov. 12, 2020) On October 10, 2020, the Kingdom of Jordan entered a nationwide 48-hour lockdown for the first time in months due to a new spike in COVID-19 cases. In response to the new spike in cases, three Jordanian executive bodies—the Ministry of Interior (homeland security), the Ministry of Health, and the Office of […]

Egypt: Country’s First Law on Protection of Personal Data Enters into Force

(Oct. 29, 2020) On October 17, 2020, Egypt’s first law to protect personal data entered into force. Law No. 151 of 2020 on the Protection of Personal Data had been ratified on July 13, 2020, by Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Article 7 of the law stipulates that enforcement of the law would begin 90 days […]

Kuwait: New Emir Sworn In before National Assembly

(Oct. 14, 2020) On September 30, 2020, Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah was sworn in before the Kuwaiti National Assembly as the country’s new emir. Sheikh Nawaf is the half-brother of the late emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, who died in the United States in September at the age of 91. Sheikh Nawaf was previously […]

UAE: Dubai Introduces New Rules for Food Establishments to Combat the Spread of COVID-19

(Oct. 9, 2020) On September 24, 2020, the Municipality of Dubai, one of the nine emirates of the United Arab Emirates, issued Circular No. 45 of 2020 regulating the operation of food establishments, including restaurants, food courts, and cafes. The purpose of the new regulation, The National reported, is to combat the spread of COVID-19 while supporting […]

Saudi Arabia: Court Issues Final Sentences in Khashoggi Case

(Sept. 22, 2020) On September 7, 2020, the Criminal Court of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, issued final sentences for eight defendants in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The court had previously sentenced five of the defendants to death but, according to the Public Prosecution, the court replaced the death sentence with the penalty of […]

United Arab Emirates: New Decree-Law Abolishes Law on Boycott of Israel

(Sept. 9, 2020) On August 29, 2020, the president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, issued Federal Decree-Law No. 4 of 2020, abolishing Federal Law No. 15 of 1972 on the Boycott of the State of Israel. The abolishment of Law No. 15 of 1972 comes after the UAE […]

Egypt: Parliament Approves Draft Law Concealing the Identity of Victims of Sexual Violence Crimes during the Pretrial Investigative Stage

(Sept. 8, 2020) On August 16, 2020, the Egyptian Council of Representatives (Egypt’s parliament) in a general session approved a draft law aimed at protecting the reputations of victims of sexual violence and encouraging the reporting of sexual crimes. Two-thirds of the members of parliament voted in a favor of passing the draft law. The […]

Iraq: Prime Minister Announces Early Parliamentary Elections and Urges Implementation of New Election Law

(Aug. 14, 2020) On July 31, 2020, Iraqi interim Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi announced that early parliamentary elections would take place on June 6, 2021, rather than in May 2022 as originally scheduled. Al-Kadhimi, who came to power in May 2020 after months of protests had forced his predecessor to resign, said that early elections […]

Saudi Arabia: Flogging and Death Abolished as Ta‘zeer Penalties

(Aug. 3, 2020) On July 15, 2020, the director of the Human Rights Commission of Saudi Arabia, Awwad bin Saleh, announced that the commission is planning to launch a number of initiatives to highlight the kingdom’s reforms in the field of human rights. Those reforms include abolishing flogging and capital punishment for minors as ta‘zeer […]