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Saudi Arabia: Visit to Hospital Patients and Digging Graves in Lieu of Prison Term

(June 12, 2015) The Criminal Court in Jeddah Province, Saudi Arabia, substituted a novel punishment for a prison sentence against two young women and two young men by ordering the women to visit ten intensive care patients in one of the government hospitals and the men to dig five graves. The crime for which the […]

Jordan: Fatwa Against Joining ISIS

(Apr. 16, 2015) On April 13, 2015, the General Iftaa Department of the Kingdom of Jordan issued a legal opinion, or fatwa, based on Sharia law prohibiting Jordanians from joining the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). The Iftaa Department is a part of the government that is tasked with issuing legal opinions related […]

Saudi Arabia: Cyber-Crime Conviction

(Mar. 19, 2015) The Criminal Court of Qatif in Saudi Arabia recently convicted a 32-year-old woman on charges of defaming another Saudi citizen on the WhatsApp private messaging service and sentenced her to two months’ imprisonment, 70 lashes, and a fine of 20,000 riyals (about US$5,334). (Qatif: Imprisonment, Lashing, and Fine for a Woman in […]

Morocco: Bill to Amend Counterterrorism Law

(Feb. 13, 2015) On January 26, 2015, the House of Deputies in Morocco approved a draft law that amends the country’s anti-terrorism law, with 102 votes for, none against, and 47 abstentions. The legislation amends certain provisions of the Penal Code and of the Code of Criminal Procedure to criminalize the act of joining a […]

Egypt: Mass Trial Results in Death Sentences for 183 Defendants

(Feb. 5, 2015) The Felony Court of Giza, Egypt, headed by Judge Mohammed Naji Shehata, on February 2, 2015, in the case dubbed the “massacre of Kerdasa,” issued a death sentence against 183 defendants and a not-guilty verdict for two others. The Court also condemned a minor to a ten-year term of imprisonment and dropped […]

Kuwait: New Counter-Terrorism Legislation Proposed

(Jan. 7, 2015) Faisal al-Douisan, a member of the Kuwaiti Parliament, recently introduced legislation on criminalizing terrorism. The draft proposal defines terrorism as any use of force, violence, or threat aimed at disturbing the public order or exposing the safety or security of society to danger; inciting sectarian strife; or endangering centers of worship, religious […]

Bahrain; Egypt: Memorandum of Understanding on Joint Legal Cooperation Signed

(Dec. 19, 2014) On December 4, 2014, the Egyptian Attorney General, Hisham Barakat, and his Bahraini counterpart, Attorney General Ali Fadl al-Bouainine, signed a memorandum of understanding in the field of legal cooperation. (The Signing of a Memorandum of Legal Cooperation Between Egypt and Bahrain, AKHDARELYOM (Dec. 4, 2014) (in Arabic).) This cooperation comes within […]

Morocco: Human Rights Activist Sentenced to Four Years in Prison

(Dec. 4, 2014) On November 27, 2014, the appellate court in the city of Agadir, Morocco, sentenced the Western Saharan rights activist Abdelkhalik el-Markhi to four years in prison. The sentence came on the opening day of the World Forum for Human Rights in Morocco. (Four Years of Imprisonment for the Sahraoui Rights Activist “Abdelkhalik […]

Saudi Arabia: Women Not Allowed to Perform Notary Duties

(Nov. 14, 2014) Notaries public in Saudi Arabia are public employees under the Ministry of Justice, in accordance with article 73 and subsequent articles of the Judiciary Law issued by Royal Decree No. M/78 of 2007 (1428 Hijri). (Text of the Law [in Arabic] (Sept. 2, 2007), Bureau of Experts at the Council of Ministers […]

Palestinian Territory, occupied: Possibility of Joining the International Criminal Court

(Oct. 15, 2014) Recent media reports quoted the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, as committing himself to taking Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC) if his demand to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories fails at the United Nations Security Council. (Abbas Vows to Join the International Criminal Court If He Fails at the […]