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Bangladesh set to further ‘thwart’ freedom of expression

Traffic in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Bangladesh is considering the introduction of a new law that would further limit freedom of expression and belief in the country, a senior Bangladeshi journalist warns. The Digital Security Act, a draft of which has been approved by the government, will include a section that “criminalizes online content regarded as defamatory . . . Read More

Laos government agrees to religious freedom education

Vat That Khao, the Reclining Buddha, in Vientiane. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The government in the Southeast Asian nation of Laos has agreed to sponsor religious-freedom education in the country. The US-based Institute for Global Engagement (IGE) will roll out a series of seminars focusing on “religious freedom as a human right, Lao government policy on religious activity and encouraging dialogue between . . . Read More

Another Indian state set to pass anti-conversion bill

Another Indian state set to pass anti-conversion bill
The northern Indian state of Uttarakhand is the latest to approve a so-called “anti-conversion bill”, reports India’s Hindustan Times. If the legislation passes into law at the state assembly later this month Uttarakhand will join Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat and Jharkhand in having anti-conversion laws. Rajasthan, Arunachal . . . Read More

Iraq’s young people must lead its rebuilding, says archbishop

Army truck with Iraqi flag on its way in the direction of Mosul. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The rebuilding of Iraq should be guided by its young people, says an archbishop who took in 700 students from Mosul University after the occupation of the city by Islamic State in June 2014. Bishop Yousif Thoma Mirkis of Kirkuk, 170km southeast of Mosul, recently visited the university and reunited . . . Read More

Brunei takes another step towards full implementation of Sharia

Parliament building in Brunei's capital, Bandar Seri Begawan. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Brunei’s Sultan and his Islamic Religious Council have approved a draft Criminal Code that brings the country another step closer to the full implementation of Sharia (Islamic law), the Borneo Bulletin reports. The draft outlines procedures for investigation, prosecution and the judiciary, and would facilitate the introduction of harsher punishments . . . Read More

Kazakh ‘sting operation’ to catch out Christian backfires

Kazakh ‘sting operation’ to catch out Christian backfires
A Kazakhstan court has acquitted a Christian women accused of “missionary activity” after she was caught in an “apparent sting operation”, reports regional news agency Forum 18. Police officers arrested Dilobarkhon Sultanova in January after she helped Elmira Inibekova download a Bible app to her mobile phone. The two women . . . Read More