Stories about Law from August, 2012
Armenia: Ties With Hungary Severed Over Prisoner Row
Following Hungary's release of an Azerbaijani army officer convicted of murdering an Armenian soldier, Armenia has severed diplomatic ties with the Central European country.
Kyrgyzstan: Facebook Post Spurs Row with Belarus
A photo uploaded on Facebook suggests that Janysh Bakiyev, the brother of the former Kyrgyzstani president ousted by 2010 protests, lives in Minsk. This has sparked an extradition request, the withdrawal of an ambassador and the storming of an embassy.
Tracking Counterfeit Medicines in the Developing World
Some 700,000 people die annually from fake malaria and tuberculosis drugs alone. The WHO reports that the annual earnings from substandard or counterfeit drugs stand at about USD 200 billion. More important than its economic impact, counterfeit medicines pose a significant global public health problem.
Morocco: Jail Sentence for Ramadan's Public Eater
A court in Rabat has sentenced a young man to serve three months in jail for failing to fast in public during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. “[Individual freedom,] a right we are not likely to see protected anytime soon,” laments Yabiladi [fr], who reports the news.
Macedonia, Bulgaria: Social Media Users Help Expose Forgery
A fact-checking intervention - a joint effort by Macedonian and Bulgarian social media users - has helped independent journalists expose forged documents used as a lure for suspicious humanitarian donations.
Hungary: Shantytown Destroyed to Help Real Estate Investment
Some 45-50 people have been living in their makeshift shacks in the abandoned woods of District X in Budapest. Some of the residents have built up self-supporting farms, but in June 2012 the local municipality started to move them out, which is not a unique phenomenon in Hungary's capital.
Russia: Censorship Law Threatens Children's Classics
After news that Russian television will soon be forced to curtail showings of a classic children’s cartoon “Nu, Pogodi!” [wiki] (the Soviet version of Tom & Jerry but with wolf and bunny instead of cat and mouse) because it is too violent for a new law protecting children from the...
Jordan: A Black Day to Protest Internet Censorship
'Over 150 sites in Jordan are going black, including the country's top new sites, to protest laws that restrict internet freedom #blackoutjo.' - On August 29, websites went offline to draw attention to the dangers of the impending legislation.
Russia: Foreign Ministry Looks to Germany to Justify Pussy Riot Verdict
Russia's Foreign Ministry has made a series of comments that further enraging Pussy Riot's supporters. Spokesperson Aleksandr Lukashevich defended the recent verdict and lashed out at the West for ignorance about the band members' pasts and highlighted perceived double standards regarding interferences into religious services and criminal penalties, citing laws in Germany and Austria.
Lebanon: At Odds with the Smoking Ban
As of September 3rd, smoking will be prohibited in public transportation, work places and closed public places, including coffee shops and restaurants. Mohammad Hijazi explains that the law is unrealistic and that its enforcement will;
Generate a drop of roughly $282 million in revenues, representing 7.1% of GDP in the hospitality sector and lead to a loss of about 2600 full-time jobs.
Taiwan: ‘National Health Insurance’ System in Crisis
The National Health Insurance system in Taiwan is quite often used as a model for reform in countries where health care depends on private insurance system. Yet, the inconvenient truth unknown to the outside world is that, the seemingly efficient health care system is built upon the exploitation of medical personnel.
Russia: Senator Wants 15 Years in Prison for Hackers
In the aftermath of a hacker attack on the court that convicted Pussy Riot's 3 members, Kremlin youth group organizer and Senator Ruslan Gattarov [ru] has proposed [ru] making criminal penalties stricter for those who target government websites. Gattarov suggests equating hacks with illegal physical occupations of government buildings, which carry a...
St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Bahamas: Reproductive Rights
Two female Caribbean bloggers, in light of the recent debacle about U.S. congressman Todd Akin's controversial comments about women and rape, are discussing the issue of “the war on women and their reproductive rights”.
Philippines: Senator Accused of Plagiarism
A Philippine senator is accused of plagiarism when he delivered a speech without mentioning that he copied several parts of the speech from a blog. The senator, instead of apologizing, has denied that he committed plagiarism. He said his office doesn't quote from blogs. His chief of staff later added that 'copying' is normal in the Senate.
Russia: Pussy Riot's Courthouse Is Hacked By Anonymous
On August 21, just days after Moscow's Khamovnicheskii Court sentenced the 3 members of Pussy Riot to 2 years in prison, hackers attacked and vandalized [ru] the court's official website [ru]. Hackivist groups self-identifying as “Anonymous” claimed responsibility and also leaked [ru] some internal (though largely uncontroversial) emails. Popular blogger Anton Nosik condemned [ru] the attack,...
Trinidad & Tobago: Political Euphemisms
If…you negotiating with crime lords…after your leader state categorically in a 2011 speech in Parliament that she would never negotiate with criminals, well… The Eternal Pantomime blogs about the government's “latest cock up”.
Pakistan: 11-Year-Old Christian Girl Detained for Blasphemy
'We can't repeal blasphemy law. A) mobs would go on vigilante sprees with no qualms & b) cops couldn't stop open shia killing, how this?' - Tweet from a Pakistani Christian blogger.
India: Social Media Censorship to Contain ‘Cyber-Terrorism'?
'Are we going to follow the footsteps of Pakistan and China and turn into a Blockistan?' The Indian government has cracked down on various social media sites; some Facebook pages and Twitter handles have also been blocked.
Chessmaster Gary Kasparov's Arrest During Pussy Riot Trial
Perhaps the most surprising thing to emerge out of the media saturated Pussy Riot trials other than the trial itself, was the attendance and subsequent arrest of the former Chessmaster of Caucasian descent, Gary Kasparov, at the reading of the verdict on August 17, which saw the three women accused of illegally performing a "punk prayer" in a church receive a two year prison term.
Russia: Government Bans Serbian Film for Underage Sex and Drugs
On August 17, Sam Klebanov announced that Russia's Ministry of Culture has banned the release of a Serbian film called "Clip." Klebanov's company owns the Russian distribution rights to the movie, which was honored with a Hivos Tiger Award at the forty-first International Film Festival Rotterdam in the Netherlands earlier this year.