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Mexico: President Signs Law Granting Amnesty to Criminals Incarcerated for Certain Crimes

(Apr. 24, 2020) On April 22, 2020, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador signed into law a bill passed by Mexico’s Senate two days earlier granting amnesty to persons incarcerated for the commission of certain crimes provided that applicable requirements are met. These crimes include the possession of narcotics in small quantities under a number […]

Mexico: Bill Granting Amnesty for Certain Drug Crimes and Offenses Committed by Indigenous People Passed

(Dec. 26, 2019) On December 11, 2019, Mexico’s House of Representatives announced that it had passed a bill proposing to grant amnesty for the commission of certain crimes, provided that applicable requirements are met. These crimes include the possession of narcotics in small quantities under a number of circumstances, such as cases in which the […]

El Salvador: Chiefs and Members of MS-13 Gang Sentenced in Historic Trial

(Dec. 19, 2019) On December 12, 2019, an anti-mafia tribunal in El Salvador imposed sentences of up to 60 years in prison on nearly 400 chiefs and members of the MS-13 gang (Mara Salvatrucha) for their involvement in multiple crimes, including terrorism, homicide, drug trafficking, money laundering, and drug and firearms smuggling. Background of MS-13 […]

Lebanon: Government Undertakes National Anticorruption Campaign

(June 24, 2019) On March 13, 2019, in a response to media and social network reports of ongoing major corruption investigations of judges and lawyers, Lebanon’s minister of justice, Albert Sarhan, confirmed to the National News Agency that he is coordinating and keeping abreast of these investigations aimed at rooting out corruption in the judiciary […]

Italy: Constitutional Court Issues Decision on Illicit Trafficking and Possession of Drugs or Psychotropic Substances

(Apr. 15, 2019) On March 13, 2019, the Italian Constitutional Court issued a decision on the production, trafficking, and illicit possession of narcotic and psychotropic substances, declaring part of article 73(1) of Presidential Decree No. 309 of 1990 (D.P.R. No. 309) unconstitutional in that it set the minimum sentence for such crimes at eight years of […]

Israel: New Law Authorizes Blocking Telephone Numbers to Prevent Offenses

(Apr. 26, 2018) On March 12, 2018, the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) passed legislation authorizing cellular phone providers to block telephone numbers that are “publicly advertised for the purpose of committing an offense.” (Blocking a Telephone Number for Prevention of Committing Offenses Law, 5778-2018, § 2(a), SEFER HAHUKIM (BOOK OF LAWS, official gazette) 5778 No. 2711 […]

Egypt: British Woman Sentenced for Carrying Painkillers

(Apr. 2, 2018) On December 26, 2017, the Criminal Court of Safaga, a town on the coast of the Red Sea, sentenced a British woman to three years in prison and fined her 100,000 Egyptian pounds (EGP) (about US$5,611) for the possession of the narcotic painkiller Tramadol. (Magdy Samaan & James Masters, British Tourist Gets […]

Malaysia: Border Security Agency Act Comes into Force

(Jan. 11, 2018) On December 29, 2017, the Malaysian Border Security Agency Act 2017 came into force. (Malaysian Border Security Agency Act 2017 (Act 799) (AKSEM Act), e-Federal Gazette website; Hashini Kavishtri Kannan, All-New AKSEM Act Comes into Force Today, NEW STRAITS TIMES (Dec. 29, 2017).) The Act, which was passed by the Parliament in August 2017, establishes […]

Iran: Drug Law Amended to Restrict Use of Capital Punishment

(Aug. 31, 2017) After months of debate, Iran’s Majlis (Parliament) has approved a bill that amends its drug-trafficking laws to curtail the application of the death penalty to drug offenders.  (Iran Parliament Softens Drug Death Penalty Laws, ARAB NEWS (Aug. 13, 2017).)  The bill, passed on August 13, 2017, amends article 45 of the Law […]

The Philippines: New Agency Created to Support Drug Enforcement Agency

(Mar. 15, 2017) On March 6, 2017, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed an executive order creating the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) that brings together 21 state agencies, with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) as chair, under a joint command, in order to more effectively combat the country’s drug problem. (Manuel Mogato, Philippine […]