Legal News Headlines

  • New Delhi, 11 October 2017

    India's Supreme Court criminalizes intercourse with minors even in the garb of marriage

    India's top court stuck down a decades-old clause in the country's rape laws permitting a man to have sex with his wife if she is aged 15 to 18 - ruling this to be rape, and therefore a criminal offense...

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  • Abu Dhabi, 7 June 2017

    UAE's federal council approves changes to tax procedure bill

    The Federal National Council (FNC) on Tuesday approved changes to a draft law that serves as a framework for issuing tax-related laws. The Tax Procedure Bill shall regulate the procedure of assessing, collecting and controlling public revenue it applies to, in addition to setting out the rights and obligations of taxpayers, registration of taxpayers, and tax offences and violations…

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  • Doha, 27 April 2017

    Qatar approves draft law on bankruptcy

    The State Cabinet approved a draft law on corporate bankruptcy and prevention at an ordinary session chaired by Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani yesterday. The law aims at developing a detailed regulation of the provisions of corporate bankruptcy and prevention, taking into account international standards in this regard…

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  • Manama, 3 April 2017

    Bahrain unveils new investment limited partnership law to support growing financial sector

    Bahrain has become the first country in the GCC region to introduce an Investment Limited Partnership Law and integrate it in the country’s legal system…

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  • Beirut, 9 March 2017

    Experts dissect domestic violence law loopholes

    Less than three years after it was endorsed by Parliament, experts and politicians argued yesterday that Lebanon’s domestic violence law still contains loopholes that prevent women from being fully protected…

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  • Cairo, 23 February 2017

    Egypt's Finance Ministry plans tax on share trading by May

    Egypt's Finance Ministry is recommending the implementation of a stamp duty on stock exchange transactions of 0.2 percent on both sellers and buyers, a senior ministry official told Reuters on Thursday. The official said he expects the stamp duty to come into effect before May…

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  • Doha, 25 January 2017

    The Qatari State Cabinet yesterday took the necessary measures to issue a draft law regulating the dealing in subsidised commodities, after it was briefed about the Advisory Council recommendations on the draft law. The draft law also set the terms of obtaining the license and the process of applying for licenses and the duration...

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  • Abu Dhabi, 3 January 2017

    The United Arab Emirates has made the possession of wild animals as domestic pets illegal, issuing a new law that penalizes offenders with either a fine of up to USD 190,000 or life imprisonment. UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan issued the Federal Law No. 22 of 2016 which aims to regulate the possession, trading and breeding of dangerous animals...

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  • Abu Dhabi, 23 November 2016

    Change to top court’s mandate to guarantee fair trial

    A change has been introduced to a law to give a fair trial affording all essential judicial guarantees to defendants currently facing final verdicts by the UAE Federal Supreme Court without a right to appeal, a former chief justice has said…

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  • Abu Dhabi, 19 October 2016

    The UAE investment law to come soon, Ministry of Economy says

    The UAE investment law, which allows up to one hundred per cent ownership to foreigners in certain sectors is in the final stages with the Ministry of Economy getting approval from all the emirates, a senior official said in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday…

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  • Muscat, 26 September 2016

    Oman court shuts down paper, jails journalists

    An Omani court yesterday upheld a government order to permanently close a national newspaper and jailed three of its journalists for undermining the state, judicial sources said…

     

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  • Abu Dhabi, 6 September 2016

    New UAE law allows patients to ‘die naturally’

    New changes to the law governing health care in the United Arab Emirates permit medical staff to no longer be compelled to resuscitate dying patients. Sex-changing surgery will also be allowed under the new laws in occurrences when the person’s sex is unclear...

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  • Amman, 1 September 2016

    Cabinet amends law to limit scope of ‘tribal justice system’

    The Jordanian Cabinet on Thursday approved a draft law amending the 2016 Crime Prevention Law, which targeted provisions governing controversial tribal customs like jalwa (forced relocation), diyeh (blood money) and administrative governors' authorities related to these affairs...

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  • Amman, 18 August 2016

    Women’s movement hopes to exceed quota in elections

    Jordan’s women’s movement has expressed optimism that some female parliamentary candidates could clinch seats outside the 15-seat designated women’s quota in the upcoming elections. The Elections Law is based on an at-large voting system, in which candidates can run for parliamentary elections on one large multimember ticket. The number of MPs as per the new Elections Law will be 130…

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  • Rabat, 20 July 2016

    Morocco's parliament yesterday gave final approval to a pension reform bill, members of the house said, despite labor unions saying the new law will damage workers’ rights and vowing to block it...

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  • Sanaa, 7 July 2016


    Child marriages have long been woven into Yemen’s social fabric, driven largely by poverty. But before the civil war began last year, international and local activists had made progress towards ending the practice. They were campaigning for a law setting 18 as the minimum age for marriage and for girls to remain in school. Now, those efforts have stalled…

     

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  • Doha, 13 June 2016

    “Qatar convicts Dutch woman held 'after being raped'“ (BBC News Middle East) A court in Qatar has convicted a Dutch woman of having sex outside marriage after she told police she was raped. According to media reports, dozens of people convicted of zina have been given flogging sentences since 2004, including at least 45 between 2009 and 2011...

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  • Beirut, 26 May 2016

    “Lebanese citizenship law strips women of identity and property“ (Reuters) Under a 91-year-old Lebanes law, women who are married to foreigners cannot pass their Lebanese nationality on to their husbands or children - nor can they inherit or own property...

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  • Tehran, 27 April 2016

    “Iran jails four journalists on security charges“ (BBC News Middle East) Four journalists were convicted by a court in Tehran on Tuesday on various charges, including "spreading propaganda against the Islamic Republic", the Tasnim news agency reported…

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  • Kuwait City, 29 March 2016

    “Mechanism set to limit expats“ (Arab Times) The Kuwaiti Parliament, in its regular session Tuesday, approved the proposal to amend law number 69/2015 on the establishment of a closed joint stock company for the recruitment of domestic workers in the first and second readings…

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  • Manama, 24 February 2016

    “Bahrain jails secular opposition leader Ibrahim Sharif“ (BBC News Middle East) A court in Bahrain has sentenced a secular Sunni opposition leader to one year in prison for inciting hatred. Ibrahim Sharif, a former secretary-general of the National Democratic Action Society, was arrested after making a speech calling for reform. Bahrain has been racked by unrest since February 2011, when demonstrators demanded greater political rights and an end to discrimination against the majority Shia community by the Sunni royal family…

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  • Abu Dhabi, 3 February 2016

    “Intellectual property, small claims courts to be set up across UAE“ (Gulf News) The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will be setting up dedicated courts to handle intellectual property rights disputes and small claims. The move is part of the UAE’s strategy to build up a knowledge-based economy and diversity away from hydrocarbons. The UAE is a member to the Paris Union and has a comprehensive patent law and a member signatory to TRIPS Agreement since 1996…

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  • Cairo, 21 January 2016

    “Egyptian human rights groups criticise juvenile detention conditions“ (BBC News Middle East) Human rights groups in Egypt have repeatedly criticised the poor and illegal detention conditions of minors. Child rights advocates accuse the authorities of turning a blind eye to the law, which sets very tough conditions for putting a child behind bars…

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  • Abu Dhabi, 14 January 2016

    “Gulf states prepare VAT laws ahead of introduction from 2018“ (Reuters) Gulf Arab states are putting the finishing touches on draft laws on value-added taxes (VAT) of up to 5 percent that could be imposed from 2018. The planned tax on consumer goods and services will be the first such levy in the six oil-producing GCC states that have traditionally been tax-free havens that attracted a large expatriate workforce…

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  • Rabat, 7 January 2016

    “Morocco government adopts draft bill on pension reform“ (Reuters) Morocco's government adopted a bill on Thursday outlining planned reforms to the pension system that unions say would damage workers’ rights and have vowed to block…

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  • Riyadh, 21 December 2015

    “Saudi Arabia 'jails reformist writer Zuhair Kutbi'“ (BBC News Middle East) Saudi writer Zuhair Kutbi who has called for political reform is reported to have been sentenced to four years in prison and was also banned from writing for 15 years. It is not clear on what charges Mr Kutbi was found guilty…

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  • Riyadh, 11 December 2015

    “Saudi women allowed to vote for first time“ (BBC News) Tomorrow people in Saudi Arabia go to the polls. This is a rare event in itself, but on this occasion women in the country will be voting and standing for office for the first time in history…

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  • Cairo, 3 December 2015

    “Egypt court orders retrial for Brotherhood leaders“ (Al Jazeera) An Egypt court has ordered a retrial of the Muslim Brotherhood's general guide, Mohamed Badie, and 36 others. The defendants were initially sentenced to death sentences or life in jail in a case referred to as the Rabaa Operation Room…

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  • New York, 19 November 2015

    “U.N. panel accuses Iran of cracking down on freedom of expression“ (Reuters) The U.N. General Assembly's human rights committee yesterday criticized Iran for cracking down on activists, journalists and dissidents and its increased use of the death penalty, a rebuke Tehran dismissed as "Iranophobia"…

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  • Cairo, 5 November 2015

    “Egypt court postpones Mubarak's final trial over 2011 killing of protesters“ (Al Arabiya) Egypt's top court today postponed the final trial of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak over the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising that ended his 30-year rule…

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  • Abu Dhabi, 29 September 2015

    “United Arab Emirates lays out new migrant labor reforms“ (Al Arabiya News) The United Arab Emirates is introducing labor reforms that aim to tighten oversight of employment agreements for the millions of temporary migrant workers that comprise the majority of the country's workforce, a top Emirati official said on Tuesday…

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  • Doha, 10 September 2015

    “Draft kafala law referred for final nod“ (The Peninsula) The much-awaited changes to Qatar’s kafala system would come into force only a year after the new sponsorship law is passed and published in the official gazette. The law, which would replace the current sponsorship system, is likely to be issued by the year-end…

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  • Riyadh, 27 August 2015

    “Saudi women say municipal elections 'opens up windows'“ (Al Arabiya News) On 12 December 2015, Saudi women will be able to register to vote and run for office in the municipal elections – a legacy from the reign of the late King Abdullah. The upcoming municipal polls will be the first in which women can participate in. Critics say that women’s participation in the upcoming municipal elections would not add much to women’s suffrage...

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  • Cairo, 17 August 2015

    "Egypt imposes new anti-terror laws" (BBC News Middle East) Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has approved new counter-terrorism laws to fight a growing Islamist insurgency. The laws establish special courts and offer additional protection from legal consequences for military and police officers who have used force. Rights groups say the legislation will be used by Mr Sisi to crush dissent...

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  • Islamabad, 4 August 2015

    "Pakistan executes Shafqat Hussain despite appeals" (BBC News) Pakistan has executed Shafqat Hussain, convicted of killing a child in 2004, despite appeals from international human rights groups. Hussain’s lawyers say he was 14 when found guilty and his confession was extracted by torture. Pakistan has the world's largest number of death row inmates...

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  • Abu Dhabi, 20 July 2015

    "Anti-Discrimation law enacted across UAE" (The National) A law criminalising all forms of discrimination on the grounds of religion, caste, creed, doctrine, race, colour or ethnic origin was enacted on Monday. The Anti-Discriminatory Law, issued following a decree by UAE President Sheikh Khalifa al Nahyan, criminalises any acts that stoke religious hatred and/or which insult religion through any form of expression...

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  • Abu Dhabi, 13 July 2015

    “UAE executes woman for killing American teacher“ (The National) The United Arab Emirates has executed a woman convicted of stabbing to death an American teacher in December 2014. While UAE law allows for the death penalty, executions are rare. The last known execution was in January 2014…

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  • Kabul, 2 July 2015

    “Death sentences in mob killing of Afghan woman overturned“ (The National) Four men convicted of taking part in the mob killing of a woman outside a Kabul shrine had their death sentences commuted to jail terms today…

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  • Cairo, 25 June 2015

    "Egypt's imprisonment of journalists at all-time high: CPJ" (Reuters) Egypt is holding the highest number of journalists behind bars since record keeping began, using the pretext of national security to crack down on press freedoms, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today...

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  • Kuwait, 18 June 2015

    “Kuwait’s MPs pass laws to regulate domestic helpers – MPs vote to establish human rights body“ (Kuwait Times) Kuwait’s National Assembly yesterday passed in principle three key legislations regulating the affairs of domestic helpers and establishing a shareholding company for their recruitment in addition to establishing the national human rights commission…

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  • Riyadh, 7 June 2015

    “Saudi court upholds blogger's 10 years and 1,000 lashes“ (BBC News Middle East) Saudi Arabia's Supreme Court has upheld the sentence of 1,000 lashes and 10 years of imprisonment on blogger Raif Badawi. Badawi was arrested in 2012 for "insulting Islam through electronic channels"…

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  • Téhéran, 3 Juin 2015

    “La dessinatrice Atena Farghadani condamnée à 12 ans de prison“ (Le Figaro.fr) Atena Farghadani, âgée de 28 ans, vient d'être jugée pour avoir exprimé son opposition au régime à travers ses caricatures. Elle a été condamnée à 12 ans et neuf mois de prison pour “rassemblement et collusion en vue de nuire à la sûreté de l'État“…

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  • Abuja, 28 May 2015

    “Nigeria Bans Female Genital Mutilation“ (International Business Times) Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed a bill this week that criminalizes female genital mutilation or cutting. The landmark legislation is being hailed as an important step for Africa’s most populous country but also one that experts hope will have a potential ripple effect on the other African nations that have significant populations of women who undergo the practice…

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  • Cairo, 16 May 2015

    "Egypt’s Morsi sentenced to death" (BBC News Middle East) An Egyptian court has pronounced death sentences on former president Mohammed Morsi and more than 100 other people over a mass prison break in 2011...

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  • Kabul, 6 May 2015

    “Afghan Judge Sentences 4 to Death Over Mob Killing“ (The New York Times) Four men were sentenced to death by an Afghan judge on Wednesday for the mob killing of a woman who had been falsely accused of burning a Quran. At the same time, the judge released many of the 49 defendants in the case and delayed verdicts for 19 police officers who were also charged…

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  • Riyadh, 29 April 2015

    “Saudi Arabia's king announces new heirs to throne“ (BBC News Middle East) Saudi Arabia's new king Salman has announced a major cabinet reshuffle that puts in place a new generation to succeed him. The king has appointed his nephew, Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, as crown prince. King Salman, 78, acceded to the throne in January after the death of his half-brother Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz…

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  • Cairo, 29 April 2015

    “Egypt Islamists get life for Kerdasa church attack“ (BBC News Middle East) A court in Egypt has sentenced 69 Islamists to life sentences for setting fire to a church in a town near Cairo…

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  • Abu Dhabi, 28 April 2015

    “Outdated religious laws must be changed, UAE forum hears“ (The National) Calls for renewal of religion, reassessment of outdated religious laws and orders, and putting an end to excommunication, were made by leading Muslim scholars at the second forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies…

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  • The Hague, 16 April 2015

    “Lebanese journalist on trial for contempt at Hague“ (BBC News Middle East) A journalist has become the first person to go on trial at the UN-backed tribunal at The Hague investigating the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Prosecutors say the journalist and her TV station revealed details about key protected witnesses. The journalists deny any wrongdoing…

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  • Dubai, 30 March 2015

    “UAE drafting law for 100 pct foreign ownership of firms - minister“ (Reuters) The United Arab Emirates is at an advanced stage of drafting a foreign investment law that would allow 100 percent foreign ownership of businesses in some sectors, the country’s economy minister said on Monday…

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  • Kuwait, 18 March 2015

    “Kuwait detains political activist over tweets against Saudi Arabia“ (Reuters) Kuwait arrested an opposition activist on suspicion of insulting Saudi Arabia on his Twitter account, the state news agency KUNA reported. Kuwait bans political parties although political societies of various shades are tolerated in the country of 4 million…

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  • Cairo, 12 March 2015

    “Sisi endorses Unified Investment Law ahead of Economic Summit“ (Amwal Al Ghad) Ahead of landmark economic summit, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi endorses a unified investment law. The law is part of a package of reforms the government is hurrying to put in place before the Egypt Economic Development Conference begins on March 13…

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  • Abu Dhabi, 5 March 2015

    “US man jailed in Emirates for criticising bosses in Facebook post“ (New Straits Times) A Florida man took to Facebook after a dispute over sick leave with the company he was working for in the United Arab Emirates. He was home in Florida at the time, but when he returned to Abu Dhabi last month, he was arrested for breaking the country’s cyber-slander law. He could face up to five years in jail and a large fine if found guilty…

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  • Manama, 26 February 2015

    “Bahrain Shias sentenced to death over police killing“ (AlJazeera) A Bahraini court has sentenced three Shia Muslims to death and jailed seven others for life after convicting them of killing three policemen in the Sunni-ruled Gulf state last year, it was reported…

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  • Geneva, 18 February 2015

    “Iran urged to halt execution of Kurd arrested as a minor “ (BBC News Middle East) UN experts have joined human rights activists in calling on Tehran to halt the planned execution an Iranian-Kurdish man who was 17 when arrested. The man is set to be executed today in West Azerbaijan province for his alleged involvement in armed activities by a banned Kurdish party…

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  • Cairo, 12 Feburary 2015

    “Egypt court begins retrial of Al Jazeera journalists“ (BBC News Middle East) The retrial has begun in Egypt of two Al Jazeera journalists convicted last year of spreading false news to help a terrorist group. The two men were imprisoned along with an Australian colleague. An appeals court ordered a retrial last month, saying the original court's verdict was not supported by evidence…

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  • Cairo, 2 February 2015

    "Egypt court upholds Muslim Brotherhood death sentences" (BBC News Middle East) A court in Egypt has upheld death sentences on 183 Muslim Brotherhood supporters over a 2013 attack on a police station near the Egyptian capital Cairo. The verdict follows a recommendation by Egypt's top religious authority, the Grand Mufti, but it can still be appealed against...

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  • Riyadh, 23 January 2015

    "Saudi King Abdullah dies, new ruler is Salman" (Reuters) Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah died early today and his brother Salman became king, the royal court in the world's top oil exporter and birthplace of Islam said in an official statement. Abdullah pushed cautious changes in the conservative Islamic kingdom including increased women's rights and economic deregulation...

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  • Riyadh, 22 January 2015

    “Saudi Arabia postpones flogging of Raif Badawi for second time“ (BBC News Middle East) Saudi Arabia has postponed the flogging of blogger Raif Badawi for the second week running on health grounds, according to human rights group Amnesty International. Mr Badawi was sentenced last May to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for "insulting Islam" and disobedience. Earlier this week, the BBC learned that Mr Badawi's case had been referred to the Supreme Court by the king's office…

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  • Dubai, 9 January 2015

    "Saudi Arabia flogs liberal activist in public: Amnesty" (Reuters) A liberal activist sentenced to prison and flogging in Saudi Arabia underwent the first round of 50 lashes in public after Friday prayers, Amnesty International said. Saudi Arabia's legal code follows Sharia Islamic law; judges are trained as religious scholars and have broad scope to base verdicts and sentences on their own interpretation of religious texts...

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  • Riyadh, 17 December 2014

    “Saudi rulers reconsider ties to Wahhabi clergy“ (Reuters) Saudi Arabia's ruling Al Saud royal family are trying to adjust their relationship with the country's strict Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam. Saudi rulers are starting to reform areas once the exclusive domain of the clergy, such as education and law, and have promoted elements of national identity that have no religious component...

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  • Jeddah, 11 December 2014

    “GCC committed to rights, equality, freedom“ (Arab News) The Gulf Cooperation Council leaders on Tuesday adopted the GCC Declaration on Human Rights emphasizing their respect for all religions and their readiness to promote freedom of opinion and expression…

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  • Manama, 4 December 2014

    “Bahraini activist Zainab al-Khawaja sentenced over king's photo“ (BBC News Middle East) Bahraini pro-democracy activist Zainab al-Khawaja has been sentenced to three years in prison for tearing up a picture of King Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa. A court gave her the option of paying a fine to remain at liberty until her appeal. Amnesty International said it would consider Ms Khawaja "a prisoner of conscience" if she were jailed…

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  • Kuwait City, 27 November 2014

    “Kuwait court rejects move to dissolve parliament“ (Gulf News) Kuwait’s Constitutional Court has dismissed a petition calling for the dissolution of the parliament elected on the one-voter, one-vote principle. The Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad issued the decree in October 2012, reducing the number of ballots a voter could cast from four to one…

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  • Tunis, 20 November 2014

    “Tunisia police rape: 'Meriem' attackers' sentences doubled“ (BBC News Middle East) Two Tunisian policeman convicted of raping a woman in a police car have had their sentences more than doubled in a high-profile court case. The officers were jailed for seven years in March, drawing accusations of leniency. Yesterday the sentences were extended to 15 years after an appeal by the victim, known as Meriem Ben Mohamed…

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  • Manama, 11 November 2014

    "Saudi Arabia: Homosexual man jailed for 'indecent acts’" (Gulf News) A court in eastern Saudi Arabia has sentenced a homosexual man to three years in jail for engaging in so-called “immoral acts”. He was also ordered to pay a SR 100,000 fine by the court in the port city Dammam in the Eastern Province. Homosexuality and cross-dressing are considered social and legal offences in Saudi Arabia...

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  • Geneva, 5 November 2014

    “Egypt under fire during UN Human Rights Council review“ (BBC News Middle East) Egypt's human rights record has been criticised during a session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Rights groups say Egypt's record has worsened since former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in 2011. This claim is rejected by Egypt's deputy Foreign Minister Hesham Badr…

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  • Amman, 22 October 2014

    “Independent, neutral judiciary a main pillar in reform drive“ (The Jordan Times) Having an independent, neutral and transparent judiciary is a main pillar in Jordan’s comprehensive reform endeavour, Jordanian King Abdullah said yesterday. The King stressed the judiciary’s role in entrenching the rule of law, protecting citizens’ rights, safeguarding freedoms and bolstering the state’s sovereignty, a Royal Court statement said…

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  • Istanbul, 3 October 2014

    "Turkey's top court annuls new Internet regulations" (The Peninsula) Turkey's constitutional court overturned parts of a law that granted the country’s telecoms authority TIB more powers to monitor online users and block websites. The new powers violated individual rights and freedoms, the constitutional court ruled, clearing the way for it to overturn the law. Under the ruling, service providers will no longer have to block a website or remove the content within four hours of a ruling by TIB. The websites can only be blocked upon a court order, the court ruled. The TIB will not be able to monitor which users visited which websites...

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  • Cairo, 24 September 2014

    "Foreign funding law raises concern over future of human rights organisations" (Daily News Egypt) Amendments to Article 78 of the Egyptian Penal Code on foreign funding were approved by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and published in the country's Official Gazette. The new law states that whoever receives foreign or local monetary or logistically funding in ways that aims to harm the country’s interests, security, or dependence, is to receive life imprisonment and a heavy fine. The amendments also stipulate that if the offender is a governmental employee, they shall receive a death sentence. Concerns are being raised over a possible government crackdown on human rights organisations...

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  • Jakarta, 17 September 2014

    "House passes Copyright Law" (The Jakarta Post) A new Copyright Law has been passed by the House of Representatives on Tuesday. The new law stipulates the protection of copyrights including the tenure of protection of inventions. However, the minister has the authority to eliminate a registered work or invention if it breaches religious and moral values, disturbs public order or is a threat to the country’s defense and security...

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  • Abu Dhabi, 21 August 2014

    "UAE introduces 'toughest' new terrorism laws" (World Bulletin) A new anti-terror bill has been introduced by the United Arab Emirates' president. The new legislation allows fines of up to 100 million dirhams and life imprisonment for those found guilty of terror-related crimes. The law also authorises the set up of lists of designated terrorist organisations and persons...

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  • Riyadh, 19 August 2014

    "Saudi Arabia opens family courts" (Gulf News) Saudi Arabia openes new courts focusing on family disputes in Riyadh, Makkah, Jeddah, Madinah and Dammam. The judges of these specialised courts will use their own interpretation of Islamic texts to rule on cases that range from complex commercial disputes to murder...

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  • Abu Dhabi, 13 August 2014

    "Divorce denied to woman who can 'no longer stand' her husband" (The National) The Cassation Court of Abu Dhabi has refused to grant the divorce to a wife who said it was impossible to continue living with her husband as a married couple after his mistreatment of her, and that she could no longer stand his presence. The court rejected her appeal because she did not present any evidence for her claims...

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  • Manama, 7 August 2014

    "Bahrain strips 9 men of nationality" (Gulf News) The High Criminal Court of Bahrain has stripped nine accused men of their citizenship for taking part in terror-related activities, based on a new anti-terror law. The anti-terror law was amended last year aiming to toughen up measuresto fight acts of terror and potential threats to the country. Those who lose their citizenship also lose their residency status and therefore must leave the country to avoid deportation...

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  • Cairo, 17 July 2014

    "Egypt court hands down tough sentences in sexual assault cases" (CNN) Nine men had been given sentences ranging from 20 years to life in prison for sexually assaulting women by an Egyptian court. The sentences were the harshest seen since the criminalization of sexual harassment last month...

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  • Riyadh, 4 July 2014

    "23 guardians sued for refusing their consent to marriage" (Arab News) 23 Saudi women sued their guardians in 2013 for refusing to let them get married. The Saudi government has been called upon to introduce a law to protect women from such cases called "adhl"...

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  • Cairo, 3 July 2014

    "Child marriage remains common, despite legal ban" (Daily News Egypt) According to an AUC study, child marriage remains common, although Egypt increased the legal age for marriage to 18 in 2008. The large number of early marriages contributes to higher fertility and illiteracy rates and is prevalent in low income households...

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  • Riyadh, 26 June 2014

    "Saudis behead two for raping minors" (Gulf News) Two Saudi nationals convicted of kidnapping and raping minors in two seperate cases were beheaded on Wednesday. The beheadings bring to 15 the number of death senctences carried out this year in Saudi Arabia. In 2013 the kingdom executed 78 people in total. Under Saudi Arabia's strict version of the Islamic sharia law rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death..

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  • Cairo, 23 June 2014

    "Egypt court sentences Al Jazeera journalists" (Al Jazeera) Egyptian court senctenced two Al Jazeera English journalists to seven years in jail and one to 10 years on charges including aiding the Muslim Brotherhood, reporting false news and possession of ammunition. The journalists were arrested in Cairo as they covered the aftermath of the army's removal of Mohamed Morsi from the presidency. The Brotherhood, which supported Morsi, was listed as a "terrorist" organisation shortly before the accused were arrested...

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  • Sana'a, 17 June 2014

    “2014 Children Situation Analysis Report aunched in Yemen“ (Yemen News Agency) The Yemeni Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation and UNICEF in collaboration with the Situation Analysis Steering Committee launched on Tuesday the 2014 Situation Analysis of Children in Yemen Report. The report showed that children constitute over 50% of Yemen’s population and highlighted that girls are disadvantaged in many ways, topped by early marriages and drop out of school…

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  • Cairo, 11 June 2014

    “Leading Egyptian activist jailed for 15 years“ (Al Jazeera) An Egyptian court has sentenced leading activist Alaa Abdel Fattah to 15 years in jail for violating a protest law amongst other charges, his lawyer said. Mr. Abdel Fattah, 33, became a symbol of the 2011 uprising against former President Hosni Mubarak through his leading role in the protests and on social media…

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  • Cairo, 5 June 2014

    "Egypt brings in new sexual harassment laws" (BBC News Middle East) In a decree, Egypt has introduced new punishments for sexual harassment of women which is now a crime punishable by up to five years in jail and fines of up to 5000 Egyptian Pounds. Until now, Egypt has not had law defining sexual harassment...

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  • Ankara, 29 May 2014

    "Turkey's top court rejects YouTube ban" (Al Jazeera) Turkey's constitutional court has in response to individual complaints ruled that a blanket ban on YouTube by the Turkish Prime Minister violated individual rights and freedoms... 

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  • Riyadh, 28 May 2014

    "Shia activists sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia" (BBC News Middle East) Two young men were found guilty of attacking security forces in Eastern Province facing the haviest punishments for those involved in the anti-government protests in 2011. They still can appeal to higher courts and the king to overturn their senctences...

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  • Tehran, 23 May 2014

    “Iran opposition activist free after serving term“ (Al Arabiya News) A semi-official Iranian news agency says a prominent opposition figure has left prison after serving his five-year sentence. The man was arrested after opposition members denounced the 2009 re-election of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as fraudulent…

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  • Khartoum, 19 May 2014

    “Verdict not final for Sudanese sentenced to death for her Christianity, official says“ (CNN) As outrage grows over a Sudanese woman sentenced to death for refusing to renounce her Christianity, the government defended the verdict, but said it's only preliminary since the verdict will go through all the judicial stages to reach the constitutional court…

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  • Khartoum, 15 May 2014

    "Christian woman in Sudan sentenced to death for her faith" (CNN) A Sudanese Christian woman has been sentenced to hang for apostasy as well as to 100 lashes for adultery. The court considers her to be Muslim and therefore her marriage to a Christian man is considered void...

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  • Doha, 14 May 2014

    "Qatar announces changes to labour law" (Aljazeera) Several changes to Qatar's controversial labour system have been anounced by the Ministries of Interior and Labour who released plans to ease restrictions on foreign workers' terms of employement. The reforms are designed to give expatriats greater latitute to change jobs and leave the country without their employers' consent. Furthermore, the proposed changes will be applicable to foreign as well as domestic workers. However, no deadline was set for implementing these proposals...

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  • Riyadh, 8 May 2014

    “Saudi blogger Raif Badawi gets 10 year jail sentence“ (BBC News Middle East) A Saudi court has imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi, the co-founder of a website called the Liberal Saudi Network, for 10 years for "insulting Islam" and setting up a liberal web forum, local media report. He was also sentenced to 1,000 lashes and ordered to pay a fine of 1 million riyals. The verdict was called “outrageous” by Amnesty International…

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  • Tunisia, 1 May 2014

    "Tunisian assembly approves electoral law" (BBC News Middle East) Tunisia's interim parliament has approved a new electoral law which allows officials to set dates for legislative and presidential elections...

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  • Bandar Seri Begawan, 1 May 2014

    “Brunei adopts sharia law amid international outcry“ (CNN) Brunei has become the first East Asian country to adopt Islamic criminal law, despite widespread condemnation from international human rights groups. Most parts of the new Islamic code will apply to both Muslims and non-Muslims. The United Nations has publicly condemned the move…

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  • Bandar Seri Begawan, 1 May 2014

    Kurzfassung Newseintrag.

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  • Cairo, 28 April 2014

    "Egypt: Brotherhood's Badie among mass death sentences" (BBC News Middle East) A judge at a mass trial in Egypt has recommended the death penalty for 683 people. Amongst them is Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie...

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  • Cairo, 8 April 2014

    “Egypt jails four men for gay acts“ (BBC News Middle East) An Egyptian court has sentenced four men to up to eight years in prison for committing homosexual acts. The men were accused of attending or arranging so-called "deviant" sex parties, and dressing in women's clothes and wearing make-up…

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  • Tunis, 1 April 2014

    “Tunisia policemen jailed for rape of 'Meriem'“ (BBC News Middle East) Two Tunisian policemen have been sentenced to seven years in prison for raping a young woman named ‘Meriem’ in a case that has triggered angry protests following attempts to charge the couple with indecency…

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  • Islamabad, 29 March 2014

    “Girls 'Treated as Cattle': Child Brides Divide Pakistan“ (NBC News) A proposed law seeking tough new penalties for marrying children has triggered intense debate in Pakistan. Currently, females can legally tie the knot at sixteen while males must wait until they are eighteen…

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  • Ankara, 26 March 2014

    “Turkey court rules against Twitter ban” (ft.com) An Ankara district court has ruled against the government’s ban on Twitter. However, no move was made towards immediately lifting the block, with officials indicating that they could keep it in force pending appeal...

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  • Islamabad, 18 March 2014

    “Plea seeking Shariah referred to high court” (The Peninsula) A petition seeking the enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan has been referred to the Islamabad High Court by the Supreme Court. The petition was filed by a local lawyer…

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  • Damascus, 13 March 2014

    “Syrian Parliament approves new election law“ (The Daily Star Lebanon) Syria's state TV says the parliament has unanimously approved a new election law allowing multiple candidates for president, opening doors to other potential candidates besides President Bashar Assad. However, President Assad has suggested he would run again…

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  • Cairo, 3 March 2014

    “Egypt's elections law revised by State Council and sent to president” (Ahram Online) A new law governing Egypt's upcoming presidential elections has been revised by the State Council, a judicial advisory body, and was sent to interim President Mansour for a final review...

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  • Riyadh, 25 February 2014

    “Saudi Arabia to set up judge training centres“ (BBC News Middle East) The Saudi Kingdom is to set up training centres for judges to improve their "efficiency and performance". The Saudi judges are clerics who use a strict interpretation of Islamic law to rule on all matters and reach verdicts without reference to precedence. It has been criticised that such a procedure leads to inconsistency and a lack of transparency…

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  • Amman, 24 February 2014

    “Syrian refugees adapt to Jordan legal system” (Aljazeera) "Syrian Lawyers' Initiative trains advocates in Jordanian law so that refugees can marry, work and live more easily"...

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  • Kabul, 17 February 2014

    “Afghan law to be revised after women’s rights pressure” (Al Arabiya/AFP) Hamid Karzai ordered changes to a proposed law after international criticim. The law was awaiting the president’s signature after being passed by parliament last month, but it was widely criticized as weakening protection for victims of domestic violence and of forced marriage...

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  • Pune, 11 February 2014

    “Pune: All-women Sharia court to redress grievances of Muslim women launched” (The Indian Express) A Sharia court conducted solely by women has started functioning in Pune, the second largest city in the Indian state of Maharashtra...

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  • Kuwait City, 4 February 2014

    “Panel approves ban on 'usury' - MP proposes changes in election law” (Kuwait Times) A parliamentary committee approved a draft law that makes bank interest illegal in Kuwait. And a new draft election law was submitted...

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  • Rabat, 23 January 2014

    "Morocco amends controversial rape marriage law" (BBC News Africa) Morocco’s parliament has unanimously amended an article of the penal code that allowed rapists of underage girls to avoid prosecution by marrying their victims. Article 475 of the penal code generated unprecedented public criticism...

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  • Doha, 21 January 2014

    “Resolution of rent disputes made faster” (The Peninsula) A decision issued by the Qatari cabinet paves the way for quicker disposal of disputes between tenants and landlords over rent...

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  • Cairo, 16 January 2014

    “Egyptians 'say yes' to new constitution” (Aljazeera) According to early results, Egyptians have voted in favour of a new constitution drafted by the interim government...

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  • Istanbul/Ankara, 10 January 2014

    “Turkey’s top judicial body: govt plans for reform ‘unconstitutional’” (Al Arabiya/AFP) “With the law amendment, the board is reporting to the justice ministry. The amendment is against the constitution and the formation of an independent body”...

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  • Riyadh, 7 January 2014

    “Saudi unveils unemployment insurance” (Kuwait Times/ Reuters) Saudi Arabia is about to introduce compulsory unemployment insurance for all citizens with jobs. All Saudi workers will be charged one percent of their monthly salary and their employer will pay the same amount. Workers who lose their jobs will be entitled to up to 12 months of compensation...

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  • Jeddah, 3 January 2014

    “First female law firm opens in Saudi Arabia” (RT) Saudi Arabia’s first female law firm has opened its doors to protect women’s rights. Two months ago its founder along with three other female lawyers were granted licenses to practice law...

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  • Karachi, 30 December 2013

    “Pakistan appoints first female judge to sharia court” (Dawn.com/AFP) "Pakistan's national sharia court, which hears cases under the country's Islamic legislation, on Monday appointed a female judge for the first time in its 33-year history"...

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  • Riyadh, 15 December 2013

    “Saudi rights group slams response to domestic violence” (Al Arabiya) The National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) has criticized the poor response by the Social Protection Committee to family violence cases. The committee under the Ministry of Social Affairs has dedicated a hotline number to report family violence cases. However, the number is available only until 10 p.m....

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  • Cairo, 8 December 2013

    “Egyptian women protesters freed” (Aljazeera) 'Egyptian authorities have released 21 women and girls convicted for staging a street protest after an appeal court reduced their harsh penalties...'

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  • Kuwait City, 3 December 2013

    “Criticising Emir punishable: Kuwait court” (The Peninsula) A law under which people who “offend” the emir can be jailed for up to five years was upheld as constitutional...

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  • Riyadh, 29 November 2013

    “Saudi women drivers: Leading female campaigner stopped” (BBC News Middle East) 'A leading Saudi campaigner for giving women the right to drive has been stopped by police as she was driving...'

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  • Kabul, 25 November 2013

    “Afghanistan plans stoning adulterers to death” (Aljazeera) Article 21 of a draft of the new penal code of Afghanistan states that "Men and women who commit adultery shall be punished based on the circumstances to one of the following punishments: lashing, stoning [to death]"...

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  • Ankara, 20 November 2013

    “Turkey parliament deadlocked over new constitution” (Al Arabiya) The 550-seat parliament is deadlocked over efforts to draw up a new constitution aimed at enshrining democratic values. Political parties have been working since 2011 to replace the current constitution which was drafted by the powerful military after the 1980 coup...

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  • Kuwait City/Abu Dhabi, 18 November 2013

    “Twitter users jailed for years by Gulf states” (Aljazeera) Twitter users in Kuwait and the UAE have been sentenced to prison. Authorities said, one of the tweets insulted the Prophet Muhammad...

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  • Taiz/Sanaa, 8 November 2013

    “Yemen police 'stop child's wedding'” (BBC News Middle East) The human rights ministry in Yemen has put the issue of child marriage at the very top of its agenda. According to the ministry, one of its officials has managed to stop the wedding of a nine-year-old girl...

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  • Khartoum, 4 November 2013

    “Sudan woman in legal limbo over refusal to cover hair” (Al Arabiya) Amira Osman Hamed, accused of “indecent” attire because she refused to cover her hair, faces a possible whipping if convicted of violating Sudan’s laws governing morality...

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  • Islamabad, 28 October 2013

    “Draft bill recognises adulteration as serious crime in Islamabad” (The Peninsula) 'The draft Islamabad Capital Territory Local Government Bill 2013 recognises adulteration and unsafe storage and sale of eatables as a serious crime.' The draft law is expected to be placed before the cabinet soon...

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  • Cairo, 23 October 2013

    “Egypt draft law seeks to regulate protests” (Aljazeera) The new law would give Egyptian security forces the power to cancel or postpone demonstrations...

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  • Taiz/Sanaa, 19 October 2013

    “Young campaigners force Yemeni parents to set lower dowries” (Al Arabiya) Young demonstrators in central Yemen launched a campaign to reduce marriage dowries. They are seeking for a solution to the high rate of unmarried people in the village, and believe that lower dowries will encourage singles to get married...

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  • Kuala Lumpur, 14 October 2013

    “Malaysia court rules non-Muslims cannot use 'Allah'” (BBC News Asia) A Malaysian appeals court has ruled that non-Muslims cannot use the word Allah to refer to God. Overturning a 2009 lower court ruling, the appeals court said the term Allah must be exclusive to Islam...

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  • The Hague/Beirut, 11 October 2013

    “Tribunal indicts new suspect in Hariri murder” (Aljazeera) The Special Tribunal for Lebanon in the Hague has published one more arrest warrant related to the killing of Rafik al-Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister...

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  • Ankara, 9 October 2013

    “Turkey lifts 90-year ban on Islamic headscarf” (The Peninsula) Turkey lifted a ban on women wearing the Islamic head scarf in state institutions.The ban, whose roots date back to the early days of the Turkish Republic, has kept many women from joining the public work force...

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  • Jeddah, 3 October 2013

    “Female lawyers to receive first licenses Sunday” (Al Arabiya) The Ministry of Justice has informed four female lawyers that they will receive their licenses on October 6...

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  • Islamabad, 1 October 2013

    “1,100 Pakistan women in jails” (The Peninsula) According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, 1,100 out of nearly 75,000 prisoners in Pakistan are women. “The misery of women prisoners is that their families no longer care for them or stay in contact with them or pursue their cases due to social stigma”...

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  • Tehran, 26 September 2013

    “Iran lawmakers pass bill allowing men to marry adopted daughters” (The Guardian) Parliamentarians in Iran have passed a bill to protect the rights of children which includes a clause that allows a man or a woman to marry his or her adopted child if a court rules it is in the interests of the individual child...

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  • Rabat, 25 September 2013

    “Morocco journalist accused of 'terrorism'” (Aljazeera) Moroccan journalist Ali Anouzla was arraigned on Tuesday on terrorism-related charges in a case that has drawn widespread condemnation from human rights organisations and press freedom groups who say that he is one of the most respected independent journalists in Morocco and the charges are meant to stifle critical reporting...

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  • Cairo, 23 September 2013

    “Egypt court bans all Brotherhood activities” (Aljazeera) A Cairo court has banned all activities of the Muslim Brotherhood including "any institution branching out from or belonging to the Brotherhood", possibly restricting the movement's political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party...

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  • Islamabad, 20 September 2013

    “Advice to legislature: No need to amend blasphemy law, says CII” (The Express Tribune) The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) ruled that there is no need to amend the blasphemy law but registration of fake blasphemy cases needs to be stopped...

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  • New Delhi, 19 September 2013

    “Indian lawmakers face arrest over deadly communal riots” (Arab News) A court in northern India ordered the arrest of 69 suspects including the state lawmakers, politicians and community leaders for inciting violence during recent Hindu-Muslim clashes that left 49 people dead...

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  • Dhaka, 17 September 2013

    “Bangladesh Islamist leader sentenced to death” (Aljazeera) A senior Islamist opposition leader was sentenced to death for mass murder during the country's 1971 liberation war against Pakistan. The original life sentence delivered in February triggered widespread protests which forced parliament to change the war crimes laws, allowing the prosecution to appeal against the verdict and seek the death penalty in the Supreme Court...

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  • Bangkok, 12 September 2013

    “Nearly a quarter of men admit to committing rape – UN survey reveals Asia-Pacific rape crisis” (Kuwait Times) Based on anonymous interviews with more than 10,000 men aged between 18 and 49-years-old in Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea, “Violence against women is a harsh reality for many,”...

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  • Sana'a, 12 September 2013

    “Yemeni child bride dies of internal bleeding on wedding night — activist” (Arab News) Human Rights Watch said nearly 14 percent of Yemeni girls were married before the age of 15 and 52 percent before the age of 18...

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  • Islamabad, 10 September 2013

    “Top court to hear voting ban on women today” (The Peninsula) "The Supreme Court of Pakistan is set to decide a crucial issue related to disenfranchising women during August 22 by-elections in two National Assembly constituencies in Nowshera and Lakki Marwat districts..."

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  • London, 5 September 2013

    “The future of abortion rights in Islam” (open Democracy) Lack of explicit reference to abortion in the Qur'an, and classical jurisprudence and modern-day religious scholarship highlight the diversity of Islamic thought on this subject...

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  • Cairo, 2 September 2013

    “Egypt names 50-member constitution panel with few Islamists” (Al Arabiya) The new panel has 60 days to submit a final version of the revised constitution to the interim president, Adly Mansour, who in turn has 30 days to announce the date of a referendum...

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  • Makkah, 2 September 2013

    “Haj violators face tougher penalties this year” (Arab News) Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, governor of Makkah Region, announced the sanctions of violators of Haj regulations on Sunday...

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  • Saudi Arabia, 30 August 2013

    "Saudi Arabia approves law to criminalise domestic abuse" (The National) The cabinet of Saudi Arabia has approved a law that for the first time criminalises abuse in the home and workplace and authorises law enforcement agencies to investigate alleged instances of mistreatment...

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  • Malé, 28 August 2013

    “Maldives girl's 100 lashes sentence overturned” (BBC News Asia) The High Court ruled on overturning the punishment of a 15-year-old girl who was sentenced to 100 lashes for engaging in premarital sex...

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  • Lahore, 23 August 2013

    “Rights of minorities: ‘Ahmadis not allowed to do business in Muslim areas’” (The Express Tribune) Munawar Ali Shahid, a human rights activist, said that “baseless” cases had been registered against several Ahmadis in recent months and the state had utterly failed to protect the lives and properties of minorities, particularly Ahmadis...

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  • Cairo, 22 August 2013

    “Egyptian ex-President Hosni Mubarak released from jail” (BBC News Middle East) Former Egyptian President has been released from prison after two years. Hosni Mubarak still faces charges of corruption and complicity in the killing of demonstrators during the protests in 2011...

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  • Islamabad, 20 August 2013

    “Pakistan court acquits cleric in blasphemy case” (Kuwait Times) Yesterday the Muslim cleric who accused a Christian girl of blasphemy before he himself was arrested on similar charges, was acquitted. Blasphemy is an extremely sensitive issue in Pakistan and can be punished by death under the country’s penal code...

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  • Oklahoma City, 16 August 2013

    “Federal judge permanently blocks Oklahoma amendment banning Islamic law” (jurist.org) 'A judge for the US District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma on Thursday permanently blocked an Oklahoma amendment banning courts from using international or Islamic law. The constitutional amendment would have prevented Oklahoma courts from "look[ing] to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures," requiring them only to look to legal precedents of other states for guidance, provided that state does not use Islamic law'...

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  • Akhun Baba, 15 August 2013

    “Hijacked justice system: Women challenge men in first female jirga” (The Express Tribune) Dissatisfaction with mainstream justice is common in Pakistan, where it can take years to process a case through the courts. Tribal jirgas present the most viable alternative but they typically ignore or discriminate against women’s rights...

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  • New Dehli, 13 August 2013

    “No profile pic? Indian Mufti says posting Facebook photos is ‘un-Islamic’” (Al Arabiya) According to an Indian Mufti posting photos on Facebook and other social media sites is “un-Islamic”. "When youngsters ask us if they can have a Facebook or Twitter profile, we allow that. But the Shariah (Islamic law) does not allow women to post pictures”...

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  • Kuwait City, 7 August 2013

    “Kuwait frees seven opposition activists” (Kuwait Times) Seven opposition activists, including six men and a woman, were released from prison by the pardon issued on the occasion of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan...

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  • Doha, 1 August 2013

    “Qatar appoints first female envoy” (The Peninsula) Qatar appointed its first female envoy, Sheikha Moza bint Nasser bin Ahmed bin Ali Al Thani, as Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador in Croatia...

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  • Dubai, 30 July 2013

    “UAE condemns Indian to death for raping girl” (The Peninsula) A lower court in Abu Dhabi yesterday sentenced to death a 57-year-old Indian man. The man was found guilty of raping a girl at a school cafeteria where he was employed and of “threatening to kill” her if she reported the attack. Executions are rare in the UAE. Typically death sentences are commuted to life in prison...

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  • Kuwait City, 24 July 2013

    “Appeals Court disqualifies 3, reinstates 4 candidates” (Kuwait Times) The Appeals Court allowed four candidates to run in the July 27 election after it overturned a decision by the Administrative Court to disqualify them...

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  • Muscat, 24 July 2013

    “Oman ruler pardons protesters in 2011 unrest” (The National) Sultan Qaboos bin Said pardoned 14 protesters jailed for Arab Spring-inspired demonstrations in 2011 that called for more job opportunities and a greater public voice in the country. The sentences ranged from 30 months to five years...

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  • Kuwait City, 23 July 2013

    “Kuwait court acquits three ex-MPs of insulting emir” (The Peninsula) According to a rights activist, Kuwait’s appeals court yesterday overturned a three-year jail term on three former opposition MPs and acquitted them from the charge of insulting the emir. The three men were convicted to jail terms by a lower court in February for making remarks at a public rally in October 2012 that were deemed offensive to Emir H H Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah. The Kuwaiti government can still challenge the acquittal before the Supreme Court whose rulings are final...

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  • Dhaka, 17 July 2013

    “Death penalty for leading Bangladesh Islamist” (Aljazeera) A Bangladesh tribunal has sentenced Jamaat-e-Islami secretary-general Mojaheed to death for war crimes during the 1971 war of independence...

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  • Doha, 16 July 2013

    “QFCHT plans to discuss labour rights in Shariah” (The Peninsula) Tomorrow, Qatar Foundation for Combating Human Trafficking (QFCHT) is set to discuss labour rights mentioned in Shariah during an especially designed ‘Cultural Salon’. "QFCHT aims to spread useful ideas and recommendations to reinforce its work and assist in implementing policies and plans, and to facilitate the implementation of the relevant legislations for combating human trafficking"...

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  • Riyadh, 9 July 2013

    “Saudi Arabia women activists urge jail term reversal” (BBC News Middle East) An appeal by the two women's rights activists, Wajeha al-Huwaider and Fawzia al-Oyouni, to overturn their 10-month jail terms is due to be heard later this week...

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  • Kuwait City, 8 July 2013

    “Court to rule on freezing polls July 14” (Kuwait Times) Kuwait's administrative court set July 14 as the date to issue its ruling on a petition demanding that the July 27 election should be suspended because the current Cabinet is illegal. The petition was filed last week. Lawyer Adel Abdulhadi, who filed the petition, argued in the court yesterday that the government’s composition is not in line with the constitution...

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  • Islamabad, 4 July 2013

    “Pakistan ends moratorium on executions” (The Peninsula) Since 2008 no one except a soldier convicted by court martial was put to death in Pakistan but the new government has ended a moratorium on executions...

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  • Abu Dhabi, 4 July 2013

    “Child protection, foreign ownership and teaching standards on UAE's horizon” (The National) "Next year there will be many laws and topics," said the council's secretary general, Dr Al Mazroui. "One of the most pressing issues is Wadeema's Law, named after an eight-year-old girl who was tortured and killed by her father. It is the country's first child-protection legislation"...

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  • Riyadh, 26 June 2013

    “Saudi Arabia jails rights campaigner Abdulkarim al-Khader” (BBC News Middle East) A founding member of Saudi Political and Civil Rights Association has been sentenced to eight years in jail on charges of inciting sedition...

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  • Rabat, 21 June 2013

    “HRW urges Morocco judges to end ‘torture confessions’” (Al Arabiya) In a report released on Friday, Human Rights Watch called on Moroccan judges to halt convictions based on confessions obtained through torture. “The country’s judicial reform agenda needs to include stronger safeguards to ensure that courts discard as evidence any statement made to the police under torture or ill-treatment”...

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  • Beijing, 20 June 2013

    “China jails 11 in Xinjiang for religious hatred” (BBC News) 11 people have been sentenced to up to six years for inciting religious extremism and related crimes in the northwestern Muslim region of Xinjiang...

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  • Tripoli, 17 June 2013

    “Qaddafi officials acquitted but stay behind bars” (Al Arabiya) Two former top associates of Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi were acquitted on Monday of wasting public money. They were accused of wasting funds by facilitating a $2.7 billion compensation payment to families of those killed in the 1988 Lockerbie plane bombing. However, the acquitted men remain in jail as part of a bigger investigation involving Qaddafi's spy chief and one of his sons. It was the first trial verdict on officials close to Qaddafi.

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  • Riyadh, 13 June 2013

    “Foreign husband needs Saudi wife’s nod to travel with kids” (Arab News) A draft bill that will prohibit non-Saudi husbands of Saudi wives to leave the country with their children without the wife’s permission will be considered by the Shoura Council...

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  • Cairo, 5 June 2013

    “Americans among 43 NGO workers sentenced by Egyptian court” (The National) A criminal court in Cairo convicted 43 NGO workers of using foreign funds to foment unrest in Egypt...

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  • Tunis, 5 June 2013

    “Femen activists on trial in Tunisia for topless protest” (BBC News Africa) Three members of the feminist group Femen face a one-year prison sentence if convicted of public indecency...

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  • Cairo/Hurghada, 3 June 2013

    “Five foreigners sentenced to death for drug smuggling in Egypt” (Al Arabiya) On Monday, five foreigners were senteced to death for smuggling drugs. The convicted men, one British citizen and three citizens of the Seychelles were arrested in 2011 in possession of three tons of hashish on board a ship off Egypt’s eastern coast. The fifth foreigner, a Pakistani, escaped during the arrest and was sentenced in absentia...

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  • Kabul, 30 May 2013

    “Afghan women in fight over rights law” (Aljazeera) Activists worry the parliamentary debate about a proposed Afghan law targeting women's rights...

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  • Riyadh, 29 May 2013

    “Saudi cleric faces backlash over harassment tweet” (BBC News Middle East) Saudis on social networks have called for legal action against, Abdullah Mohamed al-Dawood, a writer and cleric who urged his Twitter followers to harass female cashiers as a way of discouraging women from working...

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  • Yangon (Rangoon), 27 May 2013

    “2-child limit for Muslims in some Myanmar areas – Policy does not apply to Buddhists” (Kuwait Times) Authorities have imposed a two-child limit for Muslim Rohingya families in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state. Myanmar is perhaps the only country in the world to impose such a restriction on a religious group...

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  • Jeddah, 22 May 2013

    “Oman calls for ban on veiled women drivers” (The Peninsula) In the last meeting of the traffic chiefs from GCC, Oman proposed that women with face veils should not be allowed to drive since it is difficult to identify them in case of accidents or traffic violation...

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  • Riyadh, 21 May 2013

    “Saudi Arabia executes five Yemenis in Jizan” (BBC News Middle East) Saudi Arabia has executed five Yemenis convicted of murder and committing a series of robberies in various regions in the kingdom...

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  • Tunis/Kairouan, 21 May 2013

    “Amina Tyler, Tunisia’s ‘topless jihad’ activist, caught and under arrest” (Al Arabiya) Amina Tyler, 19, the outspoken Tunisian feminist who sparked a trend of “topless jihad” has been arrested. She may be charged for conducting “provocative acts”...

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  • Sanaa, 16 May 2013

    “Yemenis reel from Saudi labour crackdown” (Aljazeera) On July 3 the new punitive labour law with stricter regulations for the foreign labourers will come into effect in Saudi Arabia...

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  • Manama, 15 May 2013

    “Twitter activists jailed in Bahrain for insulting king” (BBC News Middle East) A court in Bahrain has sentenced six twitter activists to a year in jail for insulting King Hamad and the ruling al Khalifa family...

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  • Cairo, 14 May 2013

    “Egyptian House approves higher taxes on the wealthy” (The Peninsula) Yesterday Egypt’s parliament approved a new income tax law. “The law aims to achieve social justice and increase taxes on those with higher incomes. The changes are biased towards those with limited incomes,” said Mohamed El Feki, member of the Shura Council...

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  • New York, 10 May 2013

    “Eight charged in US over $45 million cyber crime on UAE and Oman banks” (The National) A gang of cybercriminals have stolen US$45 million from RAKBank in United Arab Emirates and BankMuscat in Oman by hacking into a database of prepaid debit cards...

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  • Dhaka, 9 May 2013

    “Bangladesh Jamaat leader sentenced to death” (Aljazeera) A Bangladesh war crimes tribunal has convicted Mohammad Kamaruzzaman, assistant secretary-general of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, on charges of genocide and torture of unarmed civilians during 1971 war for independence from Pakistan...

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  • Dhaka, 6 May 2013

    “Bangladesh clashes rage over blasphemy law” (Aljazeera) Clashes between security forces and demonstrators have raged in the centre of the Dhaka. The protesters are demanding an anti-blasphemy law with provision for the death penalty...

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  • Beirut, 2 May 2013

    “Lebanon civil marriage raises hope for change” (Aljazeera) By ratification of the marriage contract in the last week, the first couple in the history of Lebanon and the Arab world got a civil marriage in their home country....

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  • Istanbul, 2 May 2013

    “Turkey's Bank Asya secures $380 mln Islamic loan” (Reuters) Turkish Islamic lender Bank Asya had secured a $380 million syndicated Islamic loan from 28 banks...

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  • Mumbai, 29 April 2013

    “​Mumbai gets its first Shariah court to settle civil, marital disputes” (The Times of India) The Darul Qaza or Shariah court, which is set up by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, settles civil and marital disputes in the Muslim community. Shariah courts already function at many places in India, such as Hyderabad, Patna and Malegaon.

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  • Kuwait City, 24 April 2013

    “Kuwait PM Rejects Media Restrictions” (Kuwait Times) Kuwait Prime Minister expressed his readiness to “listen to the opinion of the Editors-in-Chief in regards to the unified media law or other topics that are of interest to the media” in his meeting with President of Kuwait Journalists Association and Editors-in-Chief of local newspapers...

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  • Cairo, 22 April 2013

    “Mursi in crisis talks with judges over reform” (The Peninsula) President Mohammed Mursi held crisis talks with Egypt’s top judges after the justice minister resigned...

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  • Riyadh, 19 April 2013

    “Importance of Arbitration Stressed” (Arab News) Minister of Justice of Saudi Arabia visited the European Court of Justice in Luxemburg as a part of the King Abdullah Project to study the best international practice and develop legal facilities in the Kingdom based on Shariah law....

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  • Cairo, 17 April 2013

    “Egypt's Hosni Mubarak ordered back to prison” (BBC News Middle East) Former Egyptian President has been ordered back to prison after he had spent the maximum time in prison under temporary detention.....

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  • Kuwait City, 15 April 2013

    “Kuwaiti opposition leader jailed for 5 years for insulting emir” (Al Arabiya) On Monday main opposition leader and former MP Mussallam al-Barrak was sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted of insulting the emir...

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  • Kuwait City, 12 April 2013

    “Kuwait Seeks tough Media Penalties” (Arab News) A new media bill has been approved by the Kuwait’s Cabinet. The new law stipulates a 10-year jail term for religious offenses and a fine of more than $ 1 million for criticizing the emir...

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  • London, 10 April 2013

    “Death penalty 'becoming thing of the past', says Amnesty” (BBC News) The trend toward abolishing the death penalty continues, despite an "alarming" rise of executions in Iraq ...

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  • Dhaka, 8 April 2013

    “Bangladesh PM rules out blasphemy law” (Aljazeera) Sheikh Hasina, the prime minister of Bangladesh, refuses to introduce death penalty for blasphemy...

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  • Cairo, 6 April 2013

    “Egypt court rejects bid to ban Bassem Youssef TV show” (BBC News Middle East) The court said the lawyer who filed the suit did not have an interest in the case...

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  • Riyadh, 4 April 2013

    “Saudi man sentenced to be paralysed for knife attack” (The Times Middle East) A court in Saudi Arabia has ruled that a young man should be paralysed from the waist down as punishment for stabbing a friend in the back...

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  • Kuwait City, 2 April 2013

    “Three convicted killers hanged at the gallows – First executions in Kuwait since 2007” (Kuwait Times) Three convicted murderers were hanged yesterday in the first executions in Kuwait since May 2007. The men were executed in front of judicial and security officials and journalists...

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  • Cairo, 28 March 2013

    “Egypt court overturns Morsi sacking of top prosecutor” (BBC News Middle East) An Egypt appeal court has ordered the reinstatement of the country's top prosecutor and cancelled Mr Morsi's decision to appoint a new prosecutor general...

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  • Muscat, 25 March 2013

    “Dozens of web activists pardoned and released in Oman” (BBC News Middle East) The sultan has pardoned and released online activists. Amnesty International called the decision a "very welcome step"...

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  • London, 21 March 2013

    “Saudi prince jailed in UK for murder flies home” (The National) Prince Saud bin Abdulaziz bin Nasir, a grandson of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, was jailed in 2010 for killing his servant in a London hotel ...

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  • Riyadh, 19 March 2013

    “Saudi Arabia arrests 18 suspected spies” (Aljazeera) Sixteen Saudis, an Iranian and a Lebanese were arrested on charges of espionage for a foreign country ...

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  • Abu Dhabi, 15 March 2013

    “Criminal age for children in UAE to increase to 10 years” (The National) The age at which a child can be held liable for a crime would increase from seven to 10 under the new amendnments ...

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  • Riyadh, 13 March 2013

    “Saudi Arabia executes seven men for armed robbery” (BBC News Middle East) Seven men who were sentenced to capital punishment in 2009 have been executed in Saudi Arabia...

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  • Riyadh, 12 March 2013

    “Women Shura members” (The Peninsula) For the first time in the kingdom's history, thirty women took seats in the Shura Council in Riyadh...

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  • Cairo, 7 March 2013

    “Egypt election body scraps voting dates - state TV” (BBC News Africa) The dates for parliamentary elections which had been scheduled to begin next month were canceled by Egypt's electoral commission...

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  • Kabul, 5 March 2013

    “Prison sentences in Kabul Bank investigation” (Aljazeera) Two of the former heads of Kabul Bank have been given five-year prison sentences for fraud and embezzlement...

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  • Abu Dhabi, 4 March 2013

    “UAE trial: Ninety-four in court over 'coup plot'” (BBC News Middle East) Alleged members of an Islamist organisation are to go on trial charged with plotting to overthrow the United Arab Emirates government. Among the defendants, there are two prominent human rights lawyers, as well as judges, teachers, and student leaders...

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  • Kuwait City, 3 March 2013

    “131 women eye prosecutor job” (Kuwait Times) 'More than a 100 women submitted applications to the Ministry of Justice to work as prosecutors in Kuwait’s judicial system...'

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  • Doha, 25 February 2013

    “Qatari poet life sentence reduced to 15 years” (BBC News Middle East) The sentence to life in prison for inciting the overthrow of the government and insulting Qatar's rulers was reduced to 15 years, his lawyer said...

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  • Kuwait City, 18 February 2013

    “Anti-money laundering law to be enforced this year” (Kuwait Times) Kuwait's government is pushing the parliament to accord priority to enforce the anti-money laundering and anti-terror funding law as a first step in a series of measures...

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  • Muscat, 17 February 2013

    “Court employees go on strike” (Times of Oman) Omani court employees went on strike demanding the implementation of a Royal Decree, which, among other things, covers the independence of the judiciary...

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  • Cairo, 17 February 2013

    “Cairo court affirms death for 7 Copts over anti-Islam film” (Al Arabiya) A Cairo tribunal upheld death sentences passed on seven Egyptian Coptic Christians in absentia for their involvement in a movie that ridiculed the Prophet Mohammed...

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  • Amman, 11 February 2013

    “MPs call for amending press law” (The Jordan Times) 'Ten deputies on Monday submitted a memorandum to amend the disputed Press and Publications Law, responding to public demands chiefly from the online media.'

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  • Tehran, 5 February 2013

    “Iran arrests former Tehran prosecutor” (Aljazeera) A former Iranian prosecutor has been arrested, according to the Tehran prosecutor's website...

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  • Abu Dhabi, 28 January 2013

    “94 Emiratis charged with compromising UAE security” (The National) 'A group of 94 Emiratis accused of compromising the security of the state have been referred to the Federal Supreme Court for trial.'

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  • Rabat, 24 January 2013

    “Morocco to change rape marriage law” (Aljazeera) A year after 16-year-old girl committed suicide after being forced to marry her alleged rapist, the Moroccan government says there are plans to change a law that allows rapists to avoid charges if they marry their victims...

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  • Beirut, 20 January 2013

    “Suleiman Voices Support for Civil Marriage ” (The Middle East Times) The President on Sunday expressed support for a law allowing currently illegal civil marriages in Lebanon, saying it will help build unity in the multi-faith country.

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  • Amman, 16 January 2013

    “Convicted molester says devil tempted him” (The Jordan Times) 'The Criminal Court has handed a reduced sentence to a 32-year-old man for molesting a woman in the street...'

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  • Cairo, 14 January 2013

    “Egypt court orders retrial for Mubarak” (Aljazeera) 'Former president and ex-interior minister to face new trial for complicity in killing of protesters in 2011 uprising.'

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  • Riyadh, 11 January 2013

    “Saudi Arabia's king appoints women to Shura Council” (BBC News Middle East) 'Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has appointed 30 women to the previously all-male consultative Shura Council.'

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  • Manama, 7 January 2013

    “Bahrain rejects jailed opposition activists' appeal” (BBC News Middle East) "Bahrain's highest appeal court has upheld the sentences of 13 activists for their part in anti-government protests in 2011, lawyers say."

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  • Doha, 2 January 2013

    “Sponsorship review possible, says report” (The Peninsula) A review of the sponsorship system is possible as the award of the 2022 FIFA World Cup has put Qatar in the international spotlight, says the Oxford Business Group in its latest report. According to a May 2011 report by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) on labour conditions in Qatar and the UAE, ‘even when laws are changed to benefit the workers, there are often shortfalls in their implementation…’

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  • Cairo, 26 December 2012

    “Egypt's President Morsi hails constitution and urges dialogue” (BBC News Middle East) Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has congratulated Egyptians for endorsing a new constitution and urged all parties to join him in a national dialogue. But opponents say the document is too Islamist and have rejected the call for dialogue as "lacking seriousness"…

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  • Muscat, 18 December 2012

    “Laws on takaful, sukuk soon” (Times of Oman) The Omani draft law for Islamic insurance or takaful firms and amendments in the Capital Market Law for accommodating Sharia compliant debt instrument or sukuk have been finalised. It is hoped that the law will be enacted soon…

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  • Amman, 17 December 2012

    “Man sentenced to 20 years for sex with minor“ (The Jordan Times) A Jordanian Criminal Court has sentenced a young man to 20 years in prison after convicting him of engaging in sexual activity with a minor. The 23-year-old defendant was also found guilty of sodomising his victim, who was 14 years old at the time of the incident, and handed him the maximum sentence because she was a virgin…

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  • Cairo, 12 December 2012

    “Egypt court jails blogger Alber Saber for blasphemy“ (BBC News Middle East) A court in Egypt has sentenced a blogger to three years in prison for blasphemy and contempt of religion. Mr. Saber was arrested in September after neighbours accused him of posting links to a film mocking Islam that led to protests across the Muslim world. The case raises concerns over freedom of expression just as Egyptians are set to vote on a draft constitution…

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  • Manama, 11 December 2012

    "Bahrain activist Nabeel Rajab's prison sentence reduced" (BBC News Middle East) An appeals court in the Kingdom of Bahrain has reduced the prison sentence handed to prominent human rights activist Mr. Rajab from three years to two. Nabeel Rajab, head of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, has been a leader of the pro-democracy protests which have rocked the kingdom since February 2011...

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  • Abu Dhabi, 10 December 2012

    "Women on every UAE board, rules Cabinet" (The National) The Cabinet of the United Arab Emirates yesterday made it compulsory for corporations and government agencies to include women on their boards of directors. The decision was made at a Cabinet meeting to approve a draft law on small and medium enterprises...

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  • Kuwait City, 4 December 2012

    "Kuwait’s new Companies Law to drive investment" (Arab Times) On 29 November 2012, the long-awaited Companies Law for Kuwait (Decree Law No. 25 for 2012) has been published in the Official Gazette (Kuwait Al-Yom). The new law introduces a raft of new concepts and principals set to shape the way commercial entities operate in Kuwait...

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  • Cairo, 30 November 2012

    “Egypt power struggle: Assembly backs draft constitution“ (BBC News Middle East) Egypt's Islamist-dominated constituent assembly has approved a draft constitution, as the judiciary threatens to dissolve it amid a power struggle with President Mohammed Mursi. The draft constitution will now be sent to Mr Mursi, who is expected to call a referendum…

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  • Kabul, 29 November 2012

    “Afghan girl’s throat slit over refusal to wed“ (Al Arabiya News) Two men have been arrested for slitting the throat of a 15-year-old Afghan girl after her family refused a marriage proposal from one of the men, police said today. Extreme violence against women and girls remains a major problem in the conservative Muslim nation more than a decade after U.S.-led troops brought down the Taliban Islamist regime…

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  • Tunis, 26 November 2012

    "Tunisian Government Joins Effort to Combat Domestic Abuse" (Tunisialive) As high rates of violence against women continue to plague Tunisian society, the government is making an effort to join the national movement to protect women. Various provisions in the Tunisian Penal Code prohibit different types of violence against women, including domestic violence and sexual harassment. However, many deem the laws protecting women’s rights as “incomplete”...

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  • Cairo, 23 November 2012

    "Egypt President Mursi defends new powers amid protests" (BBC News Middle East) Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi has appeared before supporters in Cairo to defend a new decree that grants him sweeping powers. The new decree bans challenges to Mr. Mursi's laws and decisions, and says no court can dissolve the constituent assembly, which is drawing up a new constitution...

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  • Manama, 21 November 2012

    "Bahrain court sentences medics to prison" (BBC News Middle East) A Bahrain court has sentenced 23 medics to three months in jail each or payment of a fine for their role in last year's prodemocracy protests, officials say. The case against the medical personnel dates back to February and March 2011, when they worked at the Salmaniya Medical Centre in Manama in which many of those hurt during the protests were treated...

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  • Islamabad, 20 November 2012

    “Pakistan acquits girl of blasphemy charges“ (Al Jazeera) A Pakistani court has thrown out charges against a young Christian girl accused of blasphemy in a case that drew international condemnation, lawyers said. The girl spent three weeks on remand in an adult jail after she was arrested in August for allegedly burning pages from the Quran. A cleric who first gave police the burned papers as evidence against her, was detained on September 1…

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  • Abu Dhabi, 17 November 2012

    “Adoptive parents in the UAE can lose out on benefits“ (The National) Many parents who adopt a child from abroad return to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to find they are not entitled to workplace benefits. Contrary to Nationals, expatriates may adopt legally from other countries but cannot foster children from the UAE. On the other hand, Emiratis cannot adopt but foster children born in the UAE…

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  • Abu Dhabi, 13 November 2012

    "Cyber-crime law to fight internet abuse and protect privacy in the UAE" (The National) The United Arab Emirates yesterday implemented arguably the most comprehensive cyber-crime law in the Arabian Gulf and wider Middle East. Crimes punishable under the new law include using the internet to transmit, publish or promote pornographic material, gambling activities and indecent acts, as well as creating or running websites that deride or damage the reputation or stature of the country and its rulers...

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  • Riyadh, 8 November 2012

    “Saudi cleric condemns minor girls’ marriage to wealthy older men“ (Al Arabiya News) A former member of the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars admitted that the “sale” of minor girls to wealthy husbands takes place in rural and Bedouin communities and stressed the necessity of raising awareness about marriage age. Sheikh al-Rakban also said he differed with religious scholars who argue that it is not religiously permissible to set a minimum age for marriage…

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  • Riyadh, 7 November 2012

    “Saudi rules women must remove their veils for security checks“ (The National) A proposal to allow women to keep their faces covered during security checks has been rejected by Saudi Arabia's Shura Council, a consultative body appointed by the king. The decision apparently stopped a draft law that would have allowed women to continue wearing veils during the checks…

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  • Cairo, 6 November 2012

    “Egyptian teacher sentenced for cutting unveiled girls’ hair“ (Al Arabiya News) An Egyptian school teacher received a six-month suspended jail sentence yesterday for cutting the hair of two 12-year-old girl pupils who were not wearing Islamic headscarves. The incident had been condemned by Egyptian human rights groups and women’s organizations as an example of hardline Muslims trying to impose their values on others since Islamists took power in Egypt...

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  • Riyadh, 1 November 2012

    “Smokers may be denied child custody in Saudi“ (Emirates 24/7) Saudi Arabia’s judicial authorities are considering enacting laws depriving any of the separated parents from taking custody of their children in case they are smokers, a newspaper in the Gulf kingdom reported yesterday. Judges at courts across the country are discussing such a legislation which could be the first if its kind in the Arab region…

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  • Tunis, 30 October 2012

    "Tunisia slammed for firing 75 judges" (The Gulf Today) Human Rights Watch (HRW) said yesterday that Tunisia’s “unfair and arbitrary” dismissal of 75 judges in May was a dangerous precedent for the independence of the country’s judiciary. HRW, which met some of the judges which have been dismissed, officially in an anti-corruption drive, noted that they all “described unfair disciplinary proceedings that violated international standards on the independence of the judiciary.”...

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  • Doha, 23 October 2012

    "QFC introduces new regulations" (The Peninsula) The Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFC Authority) yesterday announced it has issued important new regulations governing special purpose companies, holding companies and single family offices operating in or from the Qatar Financial Centre. Originally issued by the end of September, the Special Company Regulations (SCR) and Single Family Office Regulations (SFOR) provide for a more attractive legal, regulatory and business environment...

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  • Riyadh, 18 October 2012

    “Saudi Arabia plans female religious police“ (BBC News Middle East) The head of Saudi Arabia's religious police, known as the "mutawa", has said there is a pressing need to employ more women in the force. Saudi's religious police enforce the kingdom's strict Islamic laws, including dress and prayer times…

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  • Riyadh, 17 October 2012

    "Women lawyers to be allowed into Saudi courts next month" (Arab News) The Saudi Ministry of Justice will permit women lawyers to practice the legal profession like their male counterparts from early November. The expert’s committee of the Council of Ministers sent to the ministry on Saturday the statutes governing entry of women lawyers to Saudi courts, where only men lawyers were allowed in the past. The new lawyers’ regulations do not differentiate between men and women practitioners of the profession, a source at the Saudi Human Rights Commission said...

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  • Tunis, 12 October 2012

    “No blasphemy clause in Tunisia’s new constitution“ (Al Arabiya News) A controversial blasphemy clause proposed by the ruling Tunisian Islamist party Ennahda will not be included in Tunisia’s new constitution, the speaker of the National Constituent Assembly told AFP…

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  • Istanbul, 11 October 2012

    “Court acquits woman for killing rapist for ‘defense’“ (Today's Zaman/Hürriyet Daily News) A Turkish court has acquitted a woman for killing her rapist on the grounds of lawful defense. The acquittal of the woman, 43, for the homicide of her rapist on grounds of lawful defense may mark a turn in the Turkish judicial system in favor of women’s rights according to some turkish newspapers such as Hürriyet Daily News…

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  • Cairo, 10 October 2012

    “Egyptian 'Battle of the Camels' officials acquitted“ (BBC News Middle East) An Egyptian court has acquitted 24 former officials who were accused of sending men on camels and horses to break up a protest on Tahrir Square in Cairo in 2011, an incident that was later called ‘The Battle of the Camels’…

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  • Cairo, 8 October 2012

    "Egypt's President Mursi pardons 'revolutionaries'" (BBC News Middle East) Egypt's President, Mohammed Mursi, has pardoned all those arrested since the beginning of last year's popular uprising that ousted former president Hosni Mubarak. The amnesty deed was posted on the president's official Facebook page. The decree could lead to the release of several thousand people...

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  • Cairo, 5 October 2012

    “Egypt releases Coptic children held in blasphemy case“ (BBC News Middle East) A court in Egypt has ordered the release pending investigation of two Coptic Christian boys detained on Tuesday for blasphemy against Islam. A Muslim cleric in a village in Beni Suef province said he saw the boys, aged nine and 10, take pages of the Koran and urinate on them. Human rights groups say allegations of contempt of religion are on the rise...

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  • Riyadh, 4 October 2012

    “Saudi Arabia eyes field work guidelines for religious police“ (Al Arabiya) Saudi Arabia’s Consultative Assembly has urged the kingdom’s religious police authority to set up field guidelines for its members and define the cases in which they can intervene to enforce the kingdom’s interpretation of Islamic law. Members of the religious police, who often patrol the streets to enforce dress codes, gender separation and behaviours believed to be commended by the Islamic Sharia, have come in many cases under controversy for reportedly overstepping their duties to breach citizens’ basic civil liberties...

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  • Tunis, 2 October 2012

    "Crowd backs Tunisia 'rape' woman outside court" (BBC News Middle East) A woman allegedly raped by police in Tunisia has been questioned by a judge in Tunis who will decide whether to prosecute her for "indecency" with her fiancé. Outside the courthouse, hundreds of people voiced support for the 27-year-old, whose case has been headline news in Tunisia. There are fears that the ruling Islamist Ennahda party wants to weaken women's rights...

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  • Manama, 1 October 2012

    "Bahrain Court Rejects Final Appeal by Medics, Upholds Jail Terms" (Al Arabiya) A Bahraini court rejected on Monday the final appeal by nine medics who were ear-lier convicted for the „crime“ of treating injured protesters last year. Bahrain's highest court upheld the jail terms of the medical personnel who were part of a group of 20 doctors and nurses who worked at a medical complex in Manama...

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  • Riyadh, 28 September 2012

    “Shoura to refer new HIV prevention law to Cabinet“ (Arab News) The Saudi Shoura Council will refer to the Cabinet in the next few days a new regulation on HIV prevention. The regulation, a modified version of a former one, consists of 30 articles and details the patients’ rights and obligations. Inter alia, the regulation prohibits health departments from denying health care to any HIV carrier, no matter how he or she was infected...

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  • Algiers, 25 September 2012

    “Algeria revises hydrocarbons law“ (Magharebia) Following a steep drop in foreign investment, the Algerian government decided to amend the 2005 law on hydrocarbons. The new bill aims to "maintain Algeria's attractiveness for foreign energy investment", according to the statement released after the meeting…

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  • Riyadh, 24 September 2012

    "Relatives of Saudi inmates hold protest over detentions" (BBC News Middle East) Relatives of Saudi prisoners have held a rare protest urging their release. More than 100 people, including women and children, have taken part in the sit-in that began last Sunday outside a desert prison in Qassim province. One of the protesters in Qassim told AFP news agency that her husband had been "detained for more than nine years without charge"...

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  • Ismailia, 24 September 2012

    "Egypt upholds death sentences for Sinai Islamist attacks” (BBC News Middle East) A court in Ismailia/Egypt has upheld death sentences for 14 Islamist militants over attacks on the army and police in the Sinai Peninsula last year. The court sentenced another four militants to life imprisonment. All the men are members of the Tawhid wa al-Jihad group...

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  • Benghazi, 20 September 2012

    “Libyans 'exploiting Syrian women' with marriage offers“ (BBC News Middle East) Hard living conditions for Syrian refugees in Libya are forcing some families to marry off their daughters to wealthy local men, BBC’s Ahmed Maher reports from Benghazi. The father-of-two is appalled that penniless Syrian families are apparently being forced to sell off their daughters…

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  • Manama/Geneva, 20 September 2012

    “Bahrain pledges to improve rights record“ (Al Jazeera) The Kingdom of Bahrain has said it will implement most of the recommendations in a new United Nations report on the nation's human rights situation. However, while Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, the nation's foreign minister, told the UN's top human rights body that Bahrain would accept the bulk of the recommendations, including calls for fair trials and improved religious protection, he rejected the recommendations for abolishing the death penalty…

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  • Abu Dhabi, 12 September 2012

    “Drug user confesses with a smile in Abu Dhabi court“ (The National) An Emirati man happily confessed to taking drugs and drinking alcohol, asking the judge to issue a verdict on the spot. "Under UAE law, if a Muslim confesses in court to drinking alcohol he will face the Sharia’a penalty of 80 lashes."…

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  • Islamabad, 7 September 2012

    “Pakistan court to decide on bail for ‘blasphemy girl’“ (Al Arabiya) After listening to lawyers from both sides, judge Muhammad Azam Khan will announce his decision on the bail application after Friday prayers…

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  • Cairo, 5 September 2012

    “Former Egypt culture minister charged with corruption“ (BBC) Former Egyptian culture minister Farouk Hosni has been charged with corruption state media said. Hosni had failed to explain how he had about $3m in assets…

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  • Islamabad, 30 August 2012

    “Pakistan court delays blasphemy case hearing“ (Al Jazeera) The bail hearing of a Pakistani Christian girl accused of blasphemy has been delayed after a lawyer questioned a medical report putting the girl's age at 14. The challenge on Thursday quashed the possibility that the controversy surrounding the case of Ms Masih would be swiftly defused and the girl set free. She is due to appear in court within the next 10 days. The girl could be formally charged with blasphemy…

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  • Rabat, 28 August 2012

    “Moroccan jailed for breaking Ramadan fast in public“ (Ahram Online) A young Moroccan protester has been handed a three-month jail sentence for eating in public during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, a judicial source told AFP yesterday. According to Article 222 of Morocco's penal code anyone "breaking the fast in a public place during Ramadan, without a reason accepted" in Islam, can be imprisoned for up to six months and fined…

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  • Islamabad, 24 August 2012

    “No Country for Minorities“ (Pakistan Today) An 11-year-old Christian Pakistani girl could face the death penalty under the country's notorious blasphemy laws, after she was accused by her neighbours of deliberately burning sacred Islamic texts. Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad writes a column on this topic…

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  • Manama, 23 August 2012

    “Bahrain: Nabeel Rajab acquitted of Twitter charges“ (BBC News Middle East) Bahraini rights activist Nabeel Rajab has been cleared of defamation by the Court of Appeals in Manama. He had been arrested in June and accused of publicly insulting residents of the town of Muharraq for their ties to the ruling dynasty via Twitter. Mr. Rajab also plans to appeal against his further sentence of three years in jail for organising illegal protests during last year's uprising…

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  • Amman, 22 August 2012

    “Government approves amendments to press law“ (The Jordan Times) The Jordanian government yesterday approved a draft bill amending the Press and Publications Law for the year 2012 that will include online media under the umbrella of the legislation. Under the new draft online media will be required to register and receive a licence under the Press and Publications Law…

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  • Manama, 16 August 2012

    “Bahrain activist Nabeel Rajab jailed for three years“ (BBC News Middle East) Prominent Bahraini human rights activist and president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, Nabeel Rajab, has been jailed for three years for taking part in "illegal gatherings". Mr. Rajab was one of the organisers of pro-democracy protests which have rocked the Gulf kingdom since last February and is already serving a three-month sentence he received in July over comments on social networking websites…

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  • Kuala Lumpur, 15 August 2012

    “Islamic finance body plans scholar accreditation, ethics code“ (Al Arabiya News) The Malaysian-based Association of Sharia Advisers in Islamic Finance (ASAS), set up in April last year, wants to develop a global code of ethics and a professional development program for scholars, in order to improve standards in the industry, its president told Reuters…

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  • Tunis, 13 August 2012

    “Tunisia's new constitution 'not ready' before April 2013 “ (Egypt Independent) Tunisia's new constitution will not be adopted by parliament until April 2013, six months later than planned, the official who heads the committee in charge of drafting the constitution, said on Monday…

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  • Tunis, 13 August 2012

    “Thousands rally in Tunisia for women's rights” (Reuters) Thousands of Tunisians rallied yesterday to protest against what they see as a push by the Islamist-led government for constitutional changes that would degrade women's status in one of the Arab world's most liberal nations...

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  • Riyadh, 12 August 2012

    “Saudi Arabia plans new city for women workers only” (The Guardian) A women-only industrial city dedicated to female workers is to be constructed in Saudi Arabia to provide a working environment that is in line with the kingdom's strict customs. This city is set to be the first of several planned for the Gulf kingdom. The aim is to allow more women to work and achieve greater financial independence, but to maintain the gender segregation...

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  • Tunis, 10 August 2012

    “Freedom of speech still a distant dream in Tunisia“ (The National) Tunisian journalists hoped that an era of freedom of speech was dawning after last year's uprising toppled their autocratic leader. However, since the beginning of the year, there have been a number of high-profile cases regarding journalists' alleged limited freedom of speech…

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  • Manama, 7 August 2012

    “Bahrain charges policemen over abuses” (Al Jazeera) Bahrain's public prosecutor says authorities have charged 15 policemen with mistreating medical personnel during last year's crackdown on opposition protesters. The charges yesterday follow an investigation into police abuses that was recommended last year by an independent commission that studied the Gulf state's Shia Muslim majority's uprising against the Sunni monarchy...

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  • Tunis, 4 August 2012

    “Human Rights Watch Condemns Controversial Defamation Bill” (Tunisia Live) In a press communique Human Rights Watch (HRW) condemned a new bill that would ban blasphemy in Tunisia. The draft bill, proposed to the Constituent Assembly last Wednesday by Tunisia’s ruling moderate Islamist party Ennahdha, would criminalize “insults, profanity, derision, and representation of Allah and Mohammed.” If passed, the draft law would punish such violations with prison terms of up to two years and fines through an additional article to the Tunisian Penal Code...

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  • Abu Dhabi, 2 August 2012

    “New rules for domestic and foreign investment funds in the UAE“ (Zawya) Regulatory experts from an international law firm have reviewed the eagerly awaited Investment Funds Regulation which has been implemented by the UAE Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) this week. The Regulation applies to all matters relating to domestic investment funds and to the promotion and offering of foreign funds in the UAE…

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  • Cairo, 1 August 2012

    “Egypt prosecutor appeals Mubarak trial verdicts“ (Zawya) Egypt's prosecutor general appealed on Wednesday against the outcome of the trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and several of his senior officials over deaths in the uprising that led to the President’s resignation…

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  • London, 31 July 2012

    “Olympics judo: Saudi Arabia hijab dispute resolved“ (BBC News) Saudi Arabia judoka Wojdan Shaherkani will compete at the Olympics after a dispute over a hijab was resolved…

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  • Bamako, 31 July 2012

    “Islamists stone unmarried couple to death” (The National) Islamists in northern Mali have stoned an unmarried couple to death, the first reported sharia killing since they occupied the area, according to Agence France Presse. In Timbuktu, they have also implemented strict Islamic law and destroyed ancient World Heritage sites which they consider idolatrous. Once one of the region's stable countries, Mali has crumbled into despair in half a year...

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  • Rabat, 26 July 2012

    “Comment la nouvelle Constitution a redistribué les pouvoirs“ (L’Economiste) Depuis l’accession du Souverain marocain au trône en 1999, la réforme constitutionnelle a été la première revendication des forces politiques. “La nouvelle Constitution intervient suite à la mise en œuvre d’un certain nombre de réformes et introduit de nouveaux concepts tels que la bonne gouvernance…”,explique Hassan Ouazzani, professeur de droit…

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  • Amman, 25 July 2012

    “Jordanian kills divorced sister over ‘suspicions’“ (Al Arabiya News) A Jordanian man was charged yesterday with killing his divorced sister after stabbing her and driving his truck over her body several times because of her alleged “suspicious behavior”, police said. Murder is punishable by death in Jordan, but in so-called “honor killings”, courts can commute or reduce sentences. Between 15 and 20 women die in “honor” murders each year in the Arab kingdom, despite government efforts to curb such crimes…

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  • Amman, 23 July 2012

    “King approves amended Elections Law“ (The Jordan Times) A Royal Decree was issued on Monday approving the amendments to the 2012 Elections Law, the Jordan News Agency reported. The Lower House and the Senate passed the overall legislation first on June 20 and 25 respectively, approving a mixed electoral system that features a majority vote at the district level and a closed proportional list at the national level, which are open to all citizens and political parties…

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  • Riyadh, 20 July 2012

    “Saudi Arabia to deport Ramadan violators“ (The National) Saudi authorities are warning non-Muslim expatriates against eating, drinking or smoking in public during Ramadan. Otherwise, a statement of the Interior Ministry says, authorities will cancel violators' work contracts and expel them…

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  • Cairo, 17 July 2012

    “Egyptian court postpones key ruling on constitutional panel“ (Al Arabiya News) An Egyptian court yesterday postponed issuing a key ruling on whether a Muslim Brotherhood-led panel tasked with writing Egypt’s new constitution is legal, following protests outside the courtroom by the supporters of the Islamist movement…

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  • Manama, 12 July 2012

    “Seven to 10-year jail for attacking security personnel“ (24x7 News) Bahrain yesterday announced the amendment of Article 221 of its Penal Code. According to the newly added paragraph, imprisonment shall be the penalty for any person who assaults a member of the public security force…

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  • Kabul, 11 July 2012

    “Afghan women protest over woman’s public execution“ (Al Arabyia News) Dozens of Afghan women’s rights activists took to the streets today to protest against the recent public execution of a young woman for alleged adultery, which was captured in a horrific video. The 22-year-old victim was shot dead as dozens of men cheered in a village about 100 kilometers north of the capital Kabul…

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  • Tel Aviv, 8 July 2012

    “Israeli PM Netanyahu's party backs conscription law” (BBC News Middle East) Israeli PM Mr. Netanyahu's party has unanimously approved a plan to end exemptions from conscription for ultra-Orthodox Jews and Arab Israelis. Thousands of people rallied in Tel Aviv last Saturday, saying all Israelis must share the burden of military service...

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  • Tripoli, 5 July 2012

    “Sharia should be ‘main’ source of Libya legislation, not subject to referendum: NTC “ (Al Arabyia News) Libya’s outgoing National Transitional Council said yesterday that Sharia should be the “main” source of legislation and that this should not be subject to a referendum. Libyans are to vote tomorrow for a General National Congress, which will be tasked with appointing a new government and a constituent authority. Libya’s constitution needs to be approved in a national referendum. Some of the key issues to be determined by the constitution are the form of governance, the weight of Islam in state and society, the role of women and the rights of minorities…

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  • Dubai, 4 July 2012

    “UAE's abandoned babies given new hope“ (The National) A new federal UAE-law will establish a standardised system to care for abandoned children. These children, called laqeet, are distinct from orphans, or yateem, who are children of known parentage but whose father or both parents have died. Whereas yateem are often absorbed into extended families, laqeet usually are cared for by foster families. Taking in and bringing up an abandoned child is considered to be a highly pious act in Islam…

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  • Amman, 1 July 2012

    “Jordan lacks legal protection against wage discrimination - study” (The Jordan Times) A recent study funded by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to examine loopholes in Jordan’s laws governing pay equity found a total lack of legal protection against gender discrimination in wages. The study also found gender discrimination in the bylaws of several workplaces and urged legislators to revise the Labour Law so as to prohibit this...

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  • Amman, 28 June 2012

    “‘Rape-law’ triggers fury in Jordan“ (Al Arabiya News) The ordeal of a 14-year-old girl who was kidnapped and raped repeatedly for three days has infuriated Jordanians, especially when her attacker agreed to marry her in order to avoid going to jail. In Jordan, rapists can walk free thanks to penal code Article 308, known as the “rape-law”…

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  • London, 28 June 2012

    “Israel 'breaching UN convention on children's rights'“ (BBC News Middle East) A UK government-backed report has accused Israel's security forces of regularly breaching the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). A delegation of senior lawyers who visited Israel and the West Bank analysed the effects of Israel's military judicial system on Palestinian children. According to them, six UNCRC articles had been breached…

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  • Cologne, 27 June 2012

    “Court says child circumcision 'an assault'“ (Al Jazeera) Circumcising young boys on religious grounds amounts to grievous bodily harm, a German court has ruled. The regional court in Cologne, western Germany, ruled yesterday that the "fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighed the fundamental rights of the parents"...

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  • Abu Dhabi, 26 June 2012

    “Khalifa issues law to protect abandoned children“ (Gulf News) A law to protect children of unknown parentage and provide them with foster families was issued by the UAE President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Many of these children are abandoned because they have disabilities, are born out of wedlock, or are the result of an unwanted pregnancy. The law ensures rights of abandoned children, their civil liberties and interests, according to WAM, the Emirates News Agency…

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  • Riyadh, 24 June 2012

    “London 2012 Olympics: Saudis allow women to compete” (BBC News Middle East) Saudi Arabia is to allow its female athletes to compete in the Olympics for the first time in history. For the desert kingdom, the decision to allow women to compete in the Olympics is a huge step, overturning deep-rooted opposition from those opposed to any public role for women...

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  • Kuwait, 20 June 2012

    “Kuwait court voids election and reinstates parliament“ (BBC News Middle East) Kuwait's former parliament has been reinstated after the country's latest election was declared "illegal". The unprecedented constitutional court ruling held that a move to dissolve the previous government, ordered by Emir Sabah al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, was unconstitutional. Following a row between cabinets and lawmakers, Sheikh Al-Sabah suspended parliament for a month earlier in the week…

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  • Amman, 19 June 2012

    “Elections law sets stage for ‘boycott showdown’“ (The Jordan Times) As deputies passed the 2012 draft elections law on Tuesday, various groups across the political spectrum said they are set to boycott what has been billed as one of the most important elections in Jordan’s history. The law, which allocates 17 out of the parliamentary’s 140 seats for a national proportional list and restricts citizens to one vote at the district level, is rejected by opposition groups because it allegedly goes against the King’s and public’s reform aspirations…

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  • Riyadh, 19 June 2012

    “Saudi man executed for 'witchcraft and sorcery'“ (BBC News Middle East) A Saudi man has been beheaded on charges of sorcery and witchcraft, the Saudi state news agency SPA says. Mr Asiri was beheaded after his sentence was upheld by the country's highest courts, the Saudi news agency website said…

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  • Dubai, 18 June 2012

    “Unfair dismissal has to be compensated: Court” (Emirates 24/7) Dubai’s Highest Court, the Court of Cassation, has established three new legal principles in favour of employees in a single judgment. According to the first principle, the employer is obliged to pay the employee gratuity or provident fund, whichever is higher, at the end of his service...

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  • Cairo, 14 June 2012

    "Shafiq hails ‘historic’ court ruling on isolation law, says aiming at ‘civil state’" (Al Arabiya News) Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court declares Ahmed Shafiq eligible to run for presidency overruling a law passed by the parliament...

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  • Cairo, 14 June 2012

    “Egypt braces for controversial court ruling” (Aljazeera) Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court has to decide whether presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq will be disqualified from this weekend's elections...

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  • Abu Dhabi, 12 June 2012

    “Call for federal dress-code law in the UAE” (The National) A member of the UAE Federal National Council has appealed for a federal law banning tourists and residents from wearing revealing clothes in public. Mr. Al Rahoumi said he was not talking about forcing people to wear a "niqab, headscarf or an abaya", but to dress "appropriately"...

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  • Manama, 11 June 2012

    “Bahrain 'protest boy' Ali Hasan freed from prison” (BBC News Middle East) An 11-year-old Bahraini boy jailed for taking part in an anti-government protest has been set free. The boy was allowed to go home, but he was ordered to appear in court again on 20 June to face charges including joining an illegal gathering. Ali Hasan had spent a month behind bars after being arrested on 14 May outside the capital, Manama...

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  • Cairo, 8 June 2012

    “Egypt parties end deadlock over constitutional panel“ (BBC News Middle East) Political parties in Egypt have agreed on how to select the 100-member panel that will write the country's new constitution, ending weeks of deadlock. A deal was reached after talks between representatives of 22 parties and the head of the ruling military council. It is expected that panel members from the parliament will be elected next week…

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  • Tripoli, 5 June 2012

    “First trial of senior official in Qaddafi regime opens“ (Al Arabiya News) The first trial of a senior official accused of killing demonstrators in the 2011 uprising against Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi opened yesterday. Former foreign intelligence chief Bouzid Dorda is accused of ordering security forces to “kill demonstrators and fire live ammunition at them” during the 2011 uprising that ended Mr. Qaddafi’s rule…

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  • Kuwait, 4 June 2012

    “Kuwaiti jailed for 10 years for Twitter 'blasphemy'” (BBC News Middle East) A court in Kuwait has sentenced a man to 10 years in prison for endangering state security by insulting the Prophet Muhammad and the rulers of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in messages on Twitter. The Shia Muslim was also found guilty of mocking Islam and provoking sectarian tensions. Some Sunni activists had demanded that he be sentenced to death for blasphemy...

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  • Cairo, 31 May 2012

    “Egypt state of emergency lifted after 31 years“ (BBC News Middle East) Egypt's state of emergency, that gave security forces sweeping powers to detain suspects and try them in special courts, has ended after 31 years. Lifting the law was a key demand of activists in last year's uprising against President Hosni Mubarak. Egypt's military rulers, who took charge after the ousting of Mr Mubarak, indicated they would not renew the law…

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  • Cairo, 30 May 2012

    “Egypt: Hosni Mubarak's sons face new corruption trial“ (BBC News Middle East) The two sons of deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak are to be tried on suspicion of insider trading, Egypt's prosecutor general says. The men are already on trial alongside their father for abuse of power. A verdict is due on Saturday…

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  • Tel Aviv, 29 May 2012

    “High Court upholds legality of 'Big Brother' legislation” (Haaretz) The High Court of Justice yesterday upheld the constitutionality of a 2008 law allowing state investigators to obtain information about citizens' telephone, e-mail and text message use. However, the justices also imposed restrictions on the collection of information under the Communication Data Law, popularly known as the "Big Brother Law"...

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  • Manama, 25 May 2012

    “MPs given more powers in new constitution” (Gulf Daily News) Constitutional amendments, ratified by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa earlier this month, give broad powers to Bahrain's parliament, it was declared yesterday…

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  • Tel Aviv, 22 May 2012

    “New bill attempts to crack glass ceiling for Israeli women“ (Haaretz) A new draft law would extend from two years to seven years the statute of limitations for suing an employer who pays a female employee less than a male employee who does the same job. A ruling of last Thursday of the High Court of Justice placed the burden of proof in the case of a gender-based pay inequality claim on the employer, rather than the employee…

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  • Lahore, 21 May 2012

    “Christian charged with blasphemy ‘after snooker quarrel’“ (Pakistan Today) A young Christian man has been charged with burning “holy pages” under the blasphemy laws after he had an argument with some Muslim boys over a snooker game. Section 295-B of the governing law makes wilful desecration of the Holy Quran or use of an extract in a derogatory manner punishable with life imprisonment…

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  • Damascus, 18 May 2012

    “Syrian activist sentenced to death for ‘treason’“ (Al Arabiya News) Syrian authorities have sentenced to death for “treason” an activist who was arrested in April a Syrian human rights group said today. Hariri was arrested after discussing on Al-Jazeera television the terrible humanitarian and security situation in southern Daraa province, cradle of the anti-regime uprising that erupted in March 2011, the group said…

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  • Abu Dhabi, 18 May 2012

    “Girls 'should stay with mothers until marriage'“ (The National) Divorced mothers should retain custody of their daughters until they marry if doing otherwise would be damaging for the child, the United Arab Emirates Federal Supreme Court has ruled. The court explained that custody takes into consideration the rights of the father, the mother and the child. If those clash, the child's welfare takes priority…

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  • Algiers, 16 May 2012

    “Algerian women claw their way into parliament” (Al Arabiya News) Algeria’s legislative election saw women take almost a third of the seats, making the national assembly the most gender-balanced in the region. According to a provisional count, at least 145 of the new, enlarged national assembly’s 462 seats will be occupied by women…

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  • Tehran, 13 May 2012

    “Iran: Cartoonist sentenced to 25 lashes” (CNN iReport) The semi-official Iranian news agency ILNA reported last week that Iranian regime has sentenced a cartoonist to 25 lashes for drawing a cartoon of a former member of Iranian regime's parliament…

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  • Kuwait, 10 May 2012

    “Kuwaiti lawmakers mull female judge ban“ (ArabianBusiness.com) Lawmakers in Kuwait have proposed a law that would prohibit women from becoming judges or prosecutors. The draft ruling, presented by five MPs, includes an amendment to Article 19 of Law Number 23/1990, which states that a judge needs to be a “Kuwaiti Muslim”. The change would add the term "man" to the article…

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  • Manama, 8 May 2012

    “Bahrain court adjourns retrial of activists” (BBC News Middle East) A court in Bahrain has adjourned for two weeks the retrial of 21 activists and opposition figures accused of plotting to overthrow the state last year. The court said two of the defendants, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and Abdullah al-Mahroos, had to be present in court. Mr Khawaja was sentenced to life in jail by Bahrains National Security Court. Mr Mahroos, a prominent Shia religious figure and critic of the Gulf kingdom's Sunni-dominated government, was sentenced to 15 years by the same military tribunal…

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  • New Delhi, 7 May 2012

    “Polygamy Fatwa Sparks Debate in India” (The Siasat Daily) A new controversy is heating in India over a fatwa by the country’s most influential Muslim religious seminary against polygamy. The fatwa was issued in response to a query by a man who wanted advice on marrying twice…

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  • Doha, 6 May 2012

    “Top UK judges support Qatari legal push” (Zawya) Qatar is hosting England and Wales' most prominent judges as part of the emirate's bid to become a leading arbitration centre. The move is intended to bolster Qatar's reputation before the country hosts the World Cup in 2022. The ruling family wants the contracts related to the football tournament to contain a clause that would see any dispute resolved at its international court…

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  • Kuwait, 3 May 2012

    “Kuwaiti parliament approves death penalty for cursing prophet Muhammad” (Times of Israel) Kuwait’s parliament passed a bill Thursday imposing the death sentence, inter alia, for those who curse God, the Prophet Muhammad or claim prophetic abilities. A Kuwaiti citizen was arrested in the past for mocking the prophet and his wife on Twitter, but could not be tried under existing Kuwaiti laws…

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  • Manama, 3 May 2012

    “Bahrain king enacts parliamentary reforms” (Al Jazeera) Bahraini King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa ratified a number of amendments to Bahrain’s constitution that had previously been approved by the Shura and Representative Councils. Opposition groups dismissed the extra powers given to parliament on Thursday as not enough, describing the moves as merely symbolic…

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  • Doha, 1 May 2012

    “Qatar to allow trade union, scrap ‘sponsor’ system” (Al Arabiya News) Qatar is to allow the establishment of a trade union to protect labour rights and scrap the ‘sponsor’ system for foreign workers. Highly condemned by human rights bodies, the sponsor system requires that all foreign workers be sponsored by local employers…

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  • Sana'a, 30 April 2012

    “Sexual harassment goes unpunished in Yemen” (Yemen Times) Many women in Yemen who are subjected to sexual harassment do not notify the police as they fear the social tradition that demeans those who speak about being subjected to harassment. Additionally, security measures are fragile and allow offenders to easily evade penalties…

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  • Tripoli, 25 April 2012

    “Libya bans religious political parties” (Al Jazeera) Libyan authorities have banned the formation of political parties based on religious principles ahead of elections scheduled to take place in June. The law comes two months ahead of the country's first general elections to choose a 200-member assembly tasked with writing a new constitution and forming a government…

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  • Dubai, 24 April 2012

    “Divorce rate rises in Emirati and expat marriages” (The National) The number of divorces in Dubai has risen by almost a quarter in the past three years, helped by the financial downturn and the changing role of women in society, experts say. Divorce among nationals is rising because a of broader social change, an Emirati lawyer in Dubai explains. „A lot of women are working women now. They won’t just accept what their mothers used to accept”…

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  • Dammam, 19 April 2012

    “Age of consent for marriage of Saudi girls soon” (Arab News) The Justice Ministry will soon make an announcement to establish the age of consent for Saudi women to marry, a local daily reported yesterday quoting an official source at the ministry. However, the Director of the Department of Marriage at the ministry Mr. Al-Babtain declined to reveal the age of consent for marriage, but said the issue was still being discussed…

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  • Tunis, 18 April 2012

    “Protests against veil ban in Tunisian universities bring lectures to a halt” (Al Arabiya News) The controversy over the face veil, which emerged following the fall of former Tunisian President’s secular regime, has resurfaced again on campus with lectures coming to a halt following ongoing disputes on the issue…

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  • Cairo, 17 April 2012

    “Egypt's football deaths trial opens amid chaotic scenes” (BBC News Middle East) The trial of dozens of people charged in connection with Egypt's worst football violence has opened in Cairo amid chaotic scenes. The proceedings were disrupted by the defendants as they chanted to proclaim their innocence. At least 74 people died after clashes erupted following a match in the city of Port Said on 1 February…

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  • Kuwait, 12 April 2012

    “Kuwait mulls death penalty for insulting God, Prophet” (The Jordan Times) Kuwaiti lawmakers voted in favour of a legal amendment yesterday which could make insulting God and the Prophet Muhammad punishable by death, after a case of suspected blasphemy on Twitter caused an uproar in the Gulf Arab state. Members of parliament must vote on the proposal again in a second session and it would need the approval of the country's ruler before becoming law…

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  • Cairo, 10 April 2012

    “Egypt court suspends constitutional assembly” (BBC News Middle East) A court in Egypt has suspended the 100-member assembly appointed in March to draft the country's new constitution. Several lawsuits had demanded Cairo's Administrative Court block the decision to form the panel because it did not reflect the diversity of Egyptian society…

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  • Kuwait City, 4 April 2012

    “Kuwaiti artist fights for freedom of expression” (Gulf News) A female Kuwaiti artist whose paintings of male society were deemed “obscene” by authorities has vowed to continue pushing the boundaries. The closure of the exhibition has sparked controversy, as it’s unprecedented in the art history of Kuwait for the authorities to crack down on freedom of expression…

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  • Kuwait City, 3 April 2012

    “Kuwaiti denies blasphemous tweets, says account must have been hacked” (Al Arabiya News) A Kuwaiti Shi‘ite accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad on Twitter has denied making any such comments, saying that his account must have been hacked. The allegations sparked protests by Sunni activists and some members of parliament have called for him to be executed. Defaming Islam is illegal in Kuwait under the 1961 press and publications law, but is not usually punishable by death…

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  • Kuwait City, 3 April 2012

    Kurzfassung Newseintrag.

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  • Cairo, 29 March 2012

    “Egyptian court obliges telecom companies to block porn sites” (Egypt Independent) The State Council administrative court issued a ruling obliging the head of National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) and the Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology to block pornographic websites, according to the state-owned daily Al-Ahram…

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  • Kabul, 28 March 2012

    “Afghan women are being jailed for ‚moral crimes', says report” (The Guardian) Nearly half of all women in Afghan prisons are being held for so-called ‚moral crimes’ such as running away from home or adultery, according to a report by Human Rights Watch. After more than a decade of international efforts to reform the legal system and women's rights in Afghanistan, the report found that women still face extremely limited protection in the court system…

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  • Tunis, 27 March 2012

    “Tunisian Lawmaker talks of turbulent year” (euronews) Karima Souid, an MP with the centre left Ettakatol party, answers to questions such as: One year after Tunisia’s revolution, what has changed there? How is the work of the Constituent Assembly going? What future can be expected by the men, women and young people who believed in the revolution?…

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  • Beirut, 23 March 2012

    “Charbel: Women in the ISF are not allowed to wear the hijab” (The Daily Star) Neither veils nor any other religious symbol are allowed to be worn with the uniform of security personnel in all Lebanese state institutions , Interior Minister Marwan Charbel told a newspaper yesterday, after women who wear the hijab were accepted by the Internal Security Forces…

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  • Riyadh, 22 March 2012

    “Divorce cases increase by 21 percent” (Arab News) There were 406 marriages every day in Saudi Arabia last year against 85 divorce cases, a Saudi newspaper reported yesterday quoting official statistics of the Justice Ministry. The ministry said the divorce cases rose by 21 percent last year compared to marriages…

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  • Rabat, 15 March 2012

    “Morocco protest after raped Amina Filali kills herself” (BBC News Middle East) Moroccan activists have stepped up pressure to scrap a provision in the penal code that allows the "kidnapper" of a minor to marry her in order to escape jail after a 16-year-old female victim killed herself. The girl swallowed rat poison after being severely beaten during a forced marriage to her rapist…

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  • Cairo, 13 March 2012

    “Egyptian doctor cleared over virginity test” (Zawya) An Egyptian military court has acquitted an army doctor charged with carrying out a forced virginity test on a female detainee arrested during protests last year because of conflicting evidence from witnesses, according to a report in the official Middle East news agency…

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  • Beirut, 8 March 2012

    “Lebanon: Tussle over gender violence law” (Irin News) Proposed amendments to a draft law on gender violence in Lebanon have sparked demands from civil society organizations that parliament uphold an original draft criminalizing, e.g., ‚honor crimes‘. Intense lobbying by Lebanon’s main religious authorities, campaigners said, had prompted the committee to remove marital rape, and economic and psychological violence from the draft and introduce a new provision giving religious bodies primacy over civil courts in overseeing cases…

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  • Baghdad, 8 March 2012

    “Women deplore restrictions in male-dominated Iraq” (The Jordan Times) Iraqi women sharply criticised societal restrictions placed upon them in events marking International Women's Day. Until the 1980s, Iraqi women were widely considered to have more rights than their counterparts across the Middle East. Since it peaked in 2006 and 2007, overall violence has declined, but Iraqi women remain victims of violence, trafficking, forced marriage at a young age, and kidnapping for confessional or criminal reasons, NGOs say…

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  • Tel Aviv, 5 March 2012

    “Israeli ministerial committee okays bill raising marriage age to 18” (Haaretz.com) The Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved legislation that would raise the minimum age for marriage in Israel under most circumstances from 17 to 18. However, in exceptional cases the courts will be empowered to recognize marriages of couples under 18…

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  • Amman, 29 February 2012

    “Cabinet ready with constitutional court bill” (Jordan Times) The Jordanian Cabinet on Tuesday endorsed the draft law on the constitutional court, which is stipulated in the newly amended Constitution. The financially and administratively independent Amman-based court will be competent to rule on the constitutionality of laws and bylaws and interpret the Constitution…

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  • Tunis, 26 February 2012

    “Tunisian leader urges law against allegations of blasphemy” (Al Arabiya News) Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki on Saturday called on parliament to outlaw accusations of blasphemy as a threat to public order, in order to „protect the coexistence, fraternity and solidarity among Tunisians”. His comments came a day after an Arabic-language newspaper published an interview with a radical Islamist who branded a university professor as an infidel…

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  • Islamabad, 22 February 2012

    “Senate passes Domestic Violence Bill” (Pakistan Today) The landmark ‘Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act 2012’, which had already been passed by the National Assembly in August 2009, has now been passed unanimously by the Senate. The Domestic Violence Bill makes violence against women and children an offence, punishable by time in jail and imposition of fines. It also stipulates that the cases regarding domestic violence be dealt with expeditiously…

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  • Cairo, 22 February 2012

    “Egypt sets Mubarak trial verdict date” (Al Jazeera) The verdict in the trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will be delivered on June 2, according to the judge presiding over the case. The prosecution has called for the death penalty for Mubarak, who refrained from a chance to address the court in the final session…

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  • Dubai, 16 February 2012

    “Speedy resolution of civil and commercial disputes” (Gulf News) Since the widening in last November of the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts‘ jurisdiction to hear cases other than disputes between DIFC-registered free zone companies there has been an increasing number of cases coming from other enterprises due to the speedy resolution of civil and commercial disputes…

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  • Damascus, 15 February 2012

    “Syria to hold referendum on new constitution” (BBC Middle East) Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has decreed that a referendum on the new draft constitution will be held on 26 February. The document drops the article giving the ruling Baath Party unique status as the "leader of state and society". However, it is highly questionable how a referendum could be carried out efficiently and credibly at short notice and while much of the country is in chaos…

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  • Cairo, 8 February 2012

    “Sentence of Egyptian tycoon for diva's murder confirmed” (Morocco World News) A 15-year jail sentence handed down in 2010 to Egyptian tycoon Hisham Talaat Moustafa for the murder of a Lebanese pop singer has been confirmed by a Cairo court. Moustafa was accused of having paid a former policeman $2 million for the murder of Suzanne Tamim…

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  • Cairo, 5 February 2012

    “Egypt move on foreign groups puts aid at risk” (Financial Times) Egypt has referred 40 employees of local and foreign civil society groups to a criminal court in a move that could jeopardise a significant amount of military and economic assistance to the country. It is not yet known what charges they are facing…

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  • Riyadh, 4 February 2012

    “Saudi activists sue government over driving ban” (The Straits Times) Manal al-Sherif, the icon of an Internet campaign launched last year urging Saudi women to defy a ban on driving and a human rights activist have filed law suits against the interior ministry for refusing to issue them driver's licences and banning them from driving a car…

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  • Doha, 31 January 2012

    “Qatar’s family law breaches women’s basic rights: Expert” (The Peninsula) Qatar’s family law encourages violence against women on several pretexts, says a prominent legal expert calling for amending the provisions of the legislation along with raising awareness in the society against oppressing women…

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  • Amman, 31 January 2012

    “Cabinet approves draft political parties bill“ (Zawya) “Cabinet approves draft political parties bill“ (Zawya) According to the provisions of the draft law citizens have the right to assemble parties by their own free will and the proportion of women founders shall not be less than 10 percent of the total number of founders…

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  • Amman, 17 January 2012

    “Jordan to scrap regulation on passport for women“ (The Gulf Today) A regulation that prevents married women from obtaining a passport without the written consent of their husbands shall be scrapped, the ministry of interior said…

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  • Riyadh, 5 January 2012

    „Labor Ministry working with Haia to protect rights of saleswomen“ (Arab News) The Saudi Ministry of Labour and the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Protection of Vice (Haia) will join forces to supervise the implementation of a 2006 law banning men from working in women’s lingerie stores…

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  • Khartoum, 4 January 2012

    “Opposition paper shut down again in Sudan” (The Gulf Today) The Rai al-Shaab newspaper, belonging to the party of Islamist leader Hassan al-Turabi – once a key figure in the regime of President Omar al-Bashir but now one of his fiercest critics – was shut down again on Monday just months after it started publishing again following an earlier raid…

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  • Tel Aviv, 28 December 2011

    „Israelis rally against ultra-Orthodox extremism“ (BBC News Middle East) The Israeli government has ordered a crackdown on intolerance at home backing recent protests against some ultra-Orthodox who are seeking to segregate men and women...

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  • Cairo, 27 December 2011

    „Egypt court orders end to 'virginity tests' in army prisons“ (Al Arabiya News) An Egyptian court ordered the Egyptian army on Tuesday to stop forced virginity tests on female detainees which have been justified by the military as a necessity to head off possible charges of rape...

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  • Dubai, 17 December 2011

    “Amnesty, HRW urge Saudi to scrap amputations“ (Zawya) Human rights organisations have urged Saudi authorities to void a sentence passed by Riyadh’s General Court to chop off the right hands and left feet of six bedouin men accused of "highway robbery"…

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  • Dubai, 13 December 2011

    „UAE ready with draft federal insol-vency law“ (Gulf News) The first Federal Insolvency Law, currently at the draft stage, will have clear provisions for bankruptcy procedures, defining the rights of shareholders and creditors in the event of insolvency, restructuring or even dissolution of a corporate entity…

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  • Kuwait City, 12 December 2011

    "Kuwait begins trial of dozens of state-less protesters“ (ahramonline) A Kuwait court yesterday charged 31 stateless people, locally known as ‚bidoons‘, with illegal assembly and assaulting police during demonstrations earlier this year to demand citizenship and other basic rights. Under Kuwaiti law, only citizens have the right to hold public gatherings while foreigners are banned…

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  • Cairo/Sanaa, 8 December 2011

    „Human Rights Watch urges Yemen to ban child marriage, details plight of country’s child brides“ (The Washington Post) Human Rights Watch urged authorities in Yemen to set 18 as the minimum age for marriage. According to a report by this group, approximately 14 percent of girls in Yemen are married before the age 15, and 52 percent are married before they are 18 years old. This issue has also been highlighted by Yemeni activist Tawakkol Karman, one of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winners...

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  • Baghdad, 8 December 2011

    „Laws not enough to counter violence against women“ (Iraqinews.com) Iraqi Premier Nouri al-Maliki emphasised in his speech on the International Day on anti-women violence that violence against women must be tackled with new laws as well as education…

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  • Mecca, 7 December 2011

    “Australian faces lashes for blasphemy in Saudi Arabia“ (BBC News Asia) An Australian man on a pilgrimage to Mecca has been sentenced to 500 lashes and a year in prison after being convicted of blasphemy by judges in Saudi Arabia.…

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  • Tunis, 23 November 2011

    “Table ronde sur le rôle de la femme dans le processus de transition démocratique” (Le Temps Tunisien) Le Centre de recherches, d'études, de documentation et d'information sur la femme (CREDIF) a organisé au siège du gouvernorat de Béja, une table ronde sur ‘Le rôle de la femme dans le processus de transition démocratique’…

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  • Manama, 23 November 2011

    “Bahrain’s King Hamad promises human rights reforms” (BBC News Middle East) Bahrain’s King Hamad promised reforms in Bahrain, which has a majority Shia Muslim population, to prevent abuses by security forces in the future…

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  • Dubai, 22 November 2011

    “Saudi falls short on opening door for female lawyers” (ArabianBusiness.com) Saudi government is planning to allow female lawyers to participate in court in a departure from strict gender segregation…

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  • Ankara, 16 November 2011

    “Turkish Parliament passes broadcast law” (Hürriyet Daily News) Turkey’s Parliament passed a law which opens the door for foreign companies to invest in Turkey’s dynamic media sector…

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  • Mecca, 13 November 2011

    “300 lashes for practicing black magic” (Arab News) A man, arrested by Saudi police because he allegedly ‘acted suspiciously’, has been sentenced to eights months in prison and 300 lashes on charge of practicing Black Magic…

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  • Cairo, 25 October 2011

    “Egyptian expats can vote” (The Egyptian Gazette) An administrative court ruled that millions of Egyptians living abroad will have the right to vote in the upcoming parliamentary election…

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  • Doha, 25 October 2011

    “Qatar imposes new anti-human trafficking law” (Gulf News) People involved in human trafficking in Qatar face 15 years in prison and hefty fines under a new antihuman trafficking law…

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  • Riyadh, 24 October 2011

    “Women and divorce in Saudi courts” (Arab News) Saudi women who institute divorce proceedings against their husbands embark on a long and arduous journey towards an open-ended outcome due to gender-biased laws and court proceedings...

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