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Sudan: New Law Amending Penal Code Takes Effect

(July 23, 2020) On July 13, 2020, the Sudanese Official Gazette published Law No. 12 of 2020, which amends 15 provisions of the Penal Code of 1991. According to Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdulbari, the new provisions are part of Sudan’s efforts to eliminate all laws that violate human rights and “demolish any kind of discrimination […]

Denmark: Blasphemy Law Repealed

(July 6, 2017) On June 8, 2017, the Danish Parliament repealed the blasphemy provision in the Danish Penal Code. The repeal took effect on the day after publication in the Lovtidende (Danish official gazette), i.e., on June 10, 2017.  (Lov om ændring af straffeloven, LOV nr 675 af 08/06/2017 [Law on Amending the Penal Code, […]

Saudi Arabia: Poet Sentenced to Death

(Dec. 7, 2015) On November 17, 2015, the Sharia General Court of Abha (a city in the southwest region of Saudi Arabia) found Ashraf Fayadh, a poet, guilty of blasphemy and apostasy. The Court sentenced him to the death penalty. (Angus McDowall, Saudi Arabian Court Sentences Palestinian Poet Ashraf Fayadh to Death for Apostasy, INDEPENDENT […]

Iceland: Blasphemy Law Repealed

(July 15, 2015) On July 2, 2015, the Icelandic Parliament voted to repeal the country’s blasphemy legislation. (821 Frumvarp, Heligi Hrafn Gunanrson, Althingi [Parliament] website (last visited July 15, 2015).) The crime of blasphemy had been on the books since 1940; the relevant legal provision stated: “[a]nyone officially ridiculing or insulting the dogmas or worship […]

Norway: Blasphemy Provision to Be Removed from Penal Code

(May 19, 2015) On May 12, 2015, the Norwegian Parliament made a final decision to immediately remove the provision on blasphemy from the country’s General Civil Penal Code. The King must approve the amendment to the Code, and so the formal entry into force of the change will occur on or after May 22. (Anders […]