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Egypt: Two Singers Sentenced to Imprisonment

(Mar. 15, 2018) On February 27, 2018, the Egyptian court of misdemeanors sentenced two singers to imprisonment in two separate cases. In the first case, singer Sherine Abdel-Wahab was found guilty of insulting the state, which is a violation of article 80(d) of the Penal Code. (Brian Rohan, Egypt Courts Punish Singers for ‘Insults’ and […]

China: Rules Regulating Microblogs Issued

(Feb. 23, 2018) On February 2, 2018, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) released the Provisions on Administration of Microblog Information Services (the Provisions), which will take effect on March 20, 2018. The Provisions were formulated with the goal of promoting the healthy and orderly development of microblog information services, protecting the lawful rights and […]

Israel: Supreme Court Holds Threat of Suicide Not a Criminal Offense

(Feb. 15, 2018) On January 17, 2018, Israel’s Supreme Court unanimously overturned the conviction of an appellant who had threatened to take her own life and been charged with committing a criminal threat under § 192 of the Penal Law, 5737-1977. The Court opinion was issued by Justice Dafna Barak-Erez, with Justices Uzi Vogelman and […]

Iceland/European Court of Human Rights: Dismissal of Defamation Claim Violated Right to Respect for Private Life

(Nov. 20, 2017) On November 7, 2017, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) found that the Icelandic Supreme Court had erred in ruling against a claim of defamation, and “had not struck a fair balance between the applicant’s right to respect for his private life under Article 8 of the Convention [for the Protection of Human […]

Singapore: Bans on Two Clerics and Certain Books

(Nov. 9, 2017) It was reported on October 30, 2017, that Singapore has banned two foreign Islamic religious leaders from preaching during cruises and has prohibited the circulation of four foreign books in the country. The Islamic clerics have been denied permission to enter Singapore for the purpose of joining religiously themed sea cruises scheduled […]

Russia: New Legislation Restricts Anonymity of Internet Users

(Sept. 5, 2017) On July 29, 2017, the President of the Russian Federation signed two recently adopted federal laws that prohibit the anonymous use of online messenger applications and detail the procedure for blocking access to websites recognized by the Russian authorities as prohibited. (Law on Information and Information Technologies Has Been Amended, KREMLIN.RU (official […]

Germany: Law on Insulting Foreign Leaders Abolished

(July 26, 2017) On July 17, 2017, an act that abolishes the criminal law provision that made it a crime to insult a foreign head of state, a member of a foreign government who is in Germany in his official capacity, or a head of a foreign diplomatic mission who is accredited in Germany was […]

Israel: Court Decision Protects Political Advertising

(July 19, 2017) On June 26, 2017, Israel’s Supreme Court unanimously rejected an appeal against a decision by the Court for Administrative Matters (CAM) to void a decision by the Givat Shmuel Municipality to remove politically oriented outdoor billboard advertisements in areas designated by the municipality for commercial advertising. The paid advertisements were intended “to […]