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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 […]

Costa Rica/OAS: Inter-American Court of Human Rights Declares Right to Marry Should Be Extended to Same-Sex Couples

(Feb. 9, 2018) On January 9, 2018, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) published an advisory opinion stating that under the American Convention of Human Rights, the institution of marriage should be extended to same-sex couples. (Press Release, IACtHR, Advisory Opinion on Gender Identity and Nondiscrimination Against Same-Sex Couples (Jan. 9, 2018), IACtHR website […]

Saudi Arabia: Riyadh High Court Waives Requirement for Women to Fully Cover Their Faces in Courthouse

(Feb. 8, 2018) For the first time in its history, the High Court of Riyadh is no longer requiring women to fully cover their faces when they visit the Riyadh courthouse. (Fatimah Al-Dabees, Riyadh Court Waives Condition of Covering the Face and Is Satisfied with Hijab, OKAZ (Dec. 25, 2017) (in Arabic).) The Chief Justice […]

Egypt: Parliament Discusses New Bills Criminalizing Atheism and Homosexuality

(Jan. 26, 2018) On December 24, 2017, the Committee on Religion of Egypt’s Council of Representatives discussed a bill that would make atheism a crime punishable under the Egyptian Penal Code. (Egyptian Parliament Discusses Plans to Criminalise Atheism, EGYPTIAN STREETS (Dec. 24, 2017).) Previously on November 9, 2017, an Egyptian lawmaker proposed a bill criminalizing […]

Israel: Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Constitutionality of FATCA’s Implementation

(Jan. 25, 2018) On January 2, 2018, Israel’s Supreme Court, sitting as a High Court of Justice, issued its reasoning for its decision of September 12, 2016, rejecting a petition challenging the constitutionality of the Income Tax Ordinance (Amendment No. 227) Law, 5776-2016 (Amendment Law). The main decision was rendered by Justice Hanan Melcer, with […]

Sudan: Women Arrested for Wearing Pants Are Released

(Jan. 11, 2018) On December 10, 2017, Sudanese authorities released 24 women arrested by morality police four days earlier for wearing pants at a party in the El Mamoura area of south Khartoum. (Sudanese Women Arrested ‘for Wearing Trousers’ Released, NEW ARAB (Dec. 11, 2017).) The women, who had been arrested despite obtaining a permit […]

Turkey: Ban on LGBTI Group Gatherings in Capital Province

(Dec. 27, 2017) A press release issued on November 19, 2017, by the Governorship of Ankara Province in Turkey announced an indefinite ban as of November 18 on certain events held by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) non-governmental organizations. (Yasaklama Kararına Iliskin Basin Duyurusu [Press Release Regarding Prohibition Decision] (Press Release), Ankara Governorship […]

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 […]

Germany: Personal Status Act Must Allow Third Gender Option for Intersex People

(Nov. 20, 2017) In a decision published on November 8, 2017, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) held that the Personal Status Act is incompatible with the German Basic Law, the country’s constitution, to the extent that it only allows the registration of a female or male gender at birth or no gender entry […]

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 […]