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Lebanon: First Step to Repeal Provision Favorable to Rapists and Perpetrators of Lewd Acts

(Dec. 21, 2016) A person who commits certain crimes defined by law, rape; lewd acts by threat, violence, or against minors; and other similar crimes may avoid punishment under a controversial provision of the Penal Code of Lebanon. (Lebanese Penal Code, Legislative Decree No. 340 of 1943, arts. 503-510, 514-521, & 522, United Nations Office […]

New Zealand: Two Men Sentenced for Possession of ISIS Material

(June 24, 2016) On June 23, 2016, in two separate cases, New Zealand’s Auckland District Court sentenced two men for offenses that included possession of videos produced by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also referred to as ISIS).  The cases were the first of this kind in the country.  The charges against the […]

United Nations: Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals Arrests French Journalist

(Apr. 6, 2016) The United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) on March 24, 2016, arrested French journalist Florence Hartmann, based on a warrant issued in November 2011 by the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).  (Press Release, MICT, Mechanism Arrests Contempt Convict (Mar. 24, 2016); Jacqueline Jones, […]

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 […]

Brazil: Federal Supreme Court Changes Its Understanding of Enforcement of Sentences

(Mar. 11, 2016) On February 17, 2016, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal) ruled that requiring a defendant to start serving a sentence after an intermediate appellate court’s confirmation of a criminal conviction does not offend the constitutional principle of the defendant’s presumption of innocence. Minister Teori Zavascki, who wrote the opinion, held that an intermediate appellate […]

Saudi Arabia: 32 People on Trial for Treason and Spying

(Feb. 29, 2016) On February 21, 2016, the Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, began the trial of a group of 30 Saudis, an Afghani, and an Iranian on charges of treason and spying for Iran. The accused were allegedly in direct contact with the Iranian Intelligence Services, and some of them are said […]

Cambodia: Judicial System Criticized for Treatment of Rape Victims

(Dec. 2, 2015) On November 29, 2015, the Cambodian human rights nongovernmental organization Licadho released a report entitled Getting Away with It: The Treatment of Rape in Cambodia’s Justice System, as part of its 16-day initiative focused on gender-based violence.   (Latest Human Rights News, Licadho website (last visited Nov. 29, 2015).)  Licadho, which was founded […]

Indonesia: Aceh Province Law Expands Caning Punishment to Adultery and Homosexual Acts

(Oct. 28, 2015) A provincial law on criminal offenses under Sharia law, passed in 2014, came into effect on October 23, 2015, in Indonesia’s Aceh Province, the only part of the country that enforces Islamic Sharia law. (Aceh Regulation No. 6, 2014, Aceh government website (Oct. 22, 2014).) The local regulation prescribes a punishment of […]

Israel: Court Rejects Claim of Distinction Between “Civil” and “Military” Activities of Hamas

(Sept. 22, 2015)  On September 3, 2015, Israel’s Supreme Court rejected an appeal against the conviction of four individuals by the Jerusalem District Court on charges of financing and managing Hamas’ “civilian” activities in East Jerusalem.  (CrimA 1784/14 Ashraf Asoor v. State of Israel (Sept. 3, 2015), THE JUDICIAL AUTHORITY (in Hebrew).) Hamas was designated […]

Denmark: Higher Penalties for Rape and Other Violent Crimes Contemplated

(Aug. 19, 2015) The new Danish Minister of Justice, Søren Pind, supports increasing the penalties for rape and other violent crimes in Denmark, it was reported on August 13, 2015. The Ministry is preparing a report on the issue that is expected to be completed in six months. (Lucie Rychla, Justice Minister Wants Higher Penalties […]