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Bahrain: High Court Orders the Dissolution of the 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 […]

Russia: Strengthening of Punishment for Extremism

(July 18, 2016) On July 6, 2016, the President of the Russian Federation signed into law the recently adopted Federal Law No. 375 on Amending the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation and the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation in Regard to Creating Additional Measures Aimed at Countering Terrorism and Protecting Public […]

Russia: New Electronic Surveillance Rules

(July 18, 2016) On July 6, 2016, the President of the Russian Federation signed the recently adopted Federal Law No. 374 on Amending the Federal Law on Counterterrorism and Select Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation Concerning the Creation of Additional Measures Aimed at Countering Terrorism and Protecting Public Safety (Federal Law No. 374, PRAVO.GOV.RU […]

Pakistan: Regulatory Authority Bans Two Ramadan Programs

(June 29, 2016) On June 17, 2016, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), an independent television and radio regulator, banned the transmission of two Ramadan TV specials, as one news report notes, for violating PEMRA’s Electronic Media Code of Conduct rules by “promoting controversial and sectarian views.” (Following Threats, PEMRA Puts a Lid on […]

Cambodia: Opposition Legislator Arrested on Charges of Incitement

(Apr. 14, 2016) On April 10, 2016, Cambodian authorities arrested Um Sam An, an opposition legislator. He had been critical of the way the government had determined the border of Cambodia with neighboring Vietnam. His arrest in Siem Reap province, shortly after he returned from a trip to the United States, was announced by Khieu […]

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 […]

Maldives: Draft Law Would Criminalize Defamation

(Mar. 29, 2016) On March 22, 2016, the government of the Maldives submitted draft legislation to the parliament that would criminalize defamation. Even before the formal introduction of the draft law, the political opposition and journalists protested the proposal as a restriction on freedom of speech.  The Bill on Defamation and Freedom of Speech, written […]

Kenya: Government Requires Deletion of Video from Google’s Website

(Mar. 1, 2016) On February 23, 2016, Kenya’s Film Classification Board (KFCB) ordered Google to take a video off its website within one week, because the video depicted nudity and sexual situations between individuals of the same gender. (Stellar Murumba, Kenyan Film Board Gives Google One Week to Pull Down Gay Song Video, BUSINESS DAILY […]

South Korea: Controversial Court Decision on Academic Freedom

(Jan. 15, 2016) The Seoul Eastern District Court, on January 13, 2016, ruled in favor of plaintiffs who filed a defamation suit against Park Yu-ha, a professor of Seoul’s Sejong University. Park published a book entitled Comfort Women of the Empire in June 2014.  The plaintiffs are former comfort women/sex slaves from the World War […]