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Bahrain: High Court Orders Dissolution of Main Shi’ite Opposition Group

(July 22, 2016) On July 17, 2016, the High Civil Court of Manama, Bahrain ordered the dissolution of the Wefaq National Islamic Society. The Court’s ruling ordered the liquidation of the organization’s assets and froze all of its banks accounts. (High Court Dissolves al Wefaq, BAHRAIN NEWS AGENCY (July 7, 2016).) The Court rendered its […]

Egypt: Repeal of Maritime Demarcation Agreement with Saudi Arabia

(June 23, 2016) On June 21, 2016, the Egyptian Administrative Court rendered a decision nullifying the recent maritime agreement reached between Saudi Arabia and Egypt.  The agreement, which was drawn up in April 2016, allowed the ceding of the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia.  The Saudi Shura Council and the Egyptian […]

International Labor Organization/Kuwait: Removal from List of Countries Violating Workers’ Rights

(June 6, 2016) On June 2, 2016, during the 105th Session of the International Labor Conference, held in Geneva, the International Labor Organization (ILO) declared that Kuwait has been removed from the ILO’s list of countries that violate labor rights. Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Hind Al-Sabeeh responded to the ILO announcement by stating […]

Jordan: Ministerial Committee Decides to Repeal Controversial Rape Provision

(May 6, 2016) On April 17, 2016, a Ministerial Committee established by the Jordanian Cabinet issued a decision to repeal article 308 of the Penal Code. Article 308 had provided for the pardoning of an individual convicted of the felony of rape if the perpetrator married the victim.  (The Abolishment of Article 308 of the […]

Egypt: Female Writer Sentenced to Three Years’ Imprisonment for Insulting Islam

(Apr. 5, 2016) On March 31, 2016, the Cairo Court of Appeals upheld the finding of a court of first instance that Fatima Naout, an Egyptian writer and thinker, was guilty of the crime of insulting religion under article 98(f) of the country’s Penal Code. (The Court Upheld the Imprisonment Decision of Egyptian Writer Fatima […]

Egypt: Uber Drivers to Be Arrested for Violating the Traffic Law

(Mar. 17, 2016) On March 8, 2016, the head of the Cairo traffic police, Major General Alaa el-Degwy, announced that traffic police will begin a campaign to arrest and detain all Uber drivers. The announcement came after taxi drivers blocked major Cairo streets to protest the presence of Uber in the city. This was not […]

Egypt: Military Court Sentences Toddler to Life Imprisonment by Mistake

(Mar. 2, 2016) In February 2016, the West Cairo Military Court in Egypt found Ahmed Mansour Qorani, who is just three years of age, guilty of the felonies of murder, carrying guns and firebombs, blocking a road with burning tires, and trying to damage government buildings. Accordingly, the court sentenced him to life imprisonment. (Nour […]

Egypt: Ministerial Resolution Regulating the Marriage of Egyptian Women to Foreigners

(Feb. 11, 2016) In December 2015, the Egyptian Minister of Justice issued Ministerial Regulation No. 9200 of 2015 to regulate the registration process for marriage contracts between Egyptian women and foreign men. The new Regulation relates to Law No. 103 of 1976 on the same subject. (Ministerial Regulation No. 9200 of 2015, 278 AL WAQA’A […]

Saudi Arabia: Religious Decree Forbids Chess

(Jan. 28, 2016) On January 21, 2016, Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh, the Grand Mufti, of the Sunni sect of Islam, who represents the formal religious institution of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, issued a religious decree to ban the game of chess. He stated that he had issued the fatwa forbidding chess because it is like […]

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 […]