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Iran: Political Offenses Defined

(Feb. 9, 2016) On January 24, 2016, Iran’s Parliament, the Majles, passed a draft law that for the first time defines what constitutes a “political offense” in Iran. (Jacqueline Jones, Iran Parliament Defines ‘Political Offenses,’ PAPER CHASE (Jan. 24, 2016).) The legislation was adopted by a vote of 112-13, with seven abstentions.  (Iranian Deputies Approve […]

Poland: Controversial Proposals and Measures on Surveillance Law, Constitutional Tribunal, and Media Law

(Feb. 3, 2016) Poland’s government is planning legal changes that would increase the surveillance over the country’s citizens. The new provisions, proposed by the ruling Law and Justice Party, would increase the government’s access to digital data while reducing restrictions on the use of surveillance by the police. (Dominic Yobbi, Thousands March in Poland to […]

Mexico: Congress to Hold Hearings on Marijuana Consumption and Legalization

(Feb. 3, 2016) The President of Mexico’s Permanent Commission of the Federal Congress, Jesús Zambrano, announced in late December 2015 that the two chambers of the Federal Congress would hold public hearings on the consumption of marijuana and related legal issues, including legalization, between January 25 and February 17, 2016. Both chambers agreed on November […]

Indonesia: Attorney General Affirms Need for Death Penalty

(Feb. 1, 2016) Speaking on January 20, 2016, Indonesia’s Attorney General, H.M. Prasetyo, affirmed the need for capital punishment. He was speaking in response to a question from the Indonesian legislature’s House Commission III, which oversees law and human rights issues. Prasetyo stated that executions are needed as “shock therapy against serious crime.”  (Erika Anindita, […]

Burkina Faso: Arrest Warrant Issued for Former President

(Jan. 6, 2016) On December 21, 2015, Burkina Faso’s military court issued an international arrest warrant for the country’s former President, Blaise Compaoré. An international warrant was necessary because Compaoré has been living in the Ivory Coast, a country on the southwestern border of Burkina Faso. He is charged with having a role in the […]

Turkey: Constitutional Court Rulings on “Reasonable Suspicion” in Criminal Procedure Code and on 2014 Changes to Internet Law

(Dec. 30, 2015) The Constitutional Court of Turkey issued two key decisions in December 2015, on amending provisions of a “package” law adopted in December 2014 and on amendments to Turkey’s Internet Law that had been introduced in February 2014.  (Top Court Rejects Appeal Against ‘Reasonable Suspicion’ Clause in Security Law, TODAY’S ZAMAN (Dec. 23, […]

Jamaica: Challenge to Law on Homosexuality

(Dec. 14, 2015) On December 10, 2015, Jamaican human rights activist Maurice Tomlinson filed a complaint with the country’s Supreme Court of Judicature against some provisions of the Offences Against the Person Act that outlaw sexual conduct between two consenting men.  (Ashley Hogan, Jamaica Rights Activist Challenges Homosexuality Ban, PAPER CHASE (Dec. 10, 2015); The […]

Germany: Parliament Adopts Draft Act to Criminalize Commercial Assisted Suicide

(Dec. 1, 2015) On November 6, 2015, the German Bundestag (parliament) adopted a draft act that criminalizes commercial assisted suicide. (Entwurf eines Gesetzes zur Strafbarkeit der geschäftsmäßigen Förderung der Selbsttötung [Draft Act to Criminalize Commercial Assisted Suicide] (July 1, 2015), DEUTSCHER BUNDESTAG: DRUCKSACHEN UND PROTOKOLLE [BT-Drs.] 18/5373, Deutscher Bundestag website (scroll down to view text of the […]

France: Police to Be Required to Wear Body Cameras

(Nov. 24, 2015) On October 26, 2015, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced that police officers would soon be required to wear body cameras as part of their standard equipment. (Pierre de Cossette, Police: le port des “caméras piétons” généralisé [Police: The Wearing of “Body Cameras” to Become Routine], EUROPE 1 (Oct. 26, 2015).) Up […]