On Monday, a full nine-member judicial panel of the House of Lords will consider if the UK government has the right to detain terror suspects without trial. The suspects are being detained under the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act ("ATCSA"). ATCSA allows for imprisonment without trial of foreign nationals identified as posing a threat to national security.
The government contends the nine suspects in the particular proceeding before it cannot be put on trial because the evidence in their case is too secret. Amnesty International has submitted a letter to the Law Lords asking them to find the indefinite detentions unlawful under international human rights standards. The English Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, will be arguing the case for detention at the head of the government's legal team. BBC News has more. JURIST's Paper Chase has more on ATCSA.
In an abrupt change of policy late Saturday, the Italian government sent three planeloads of illegal immigrants back to Libya. More returns were expected Sunday. Previously, immigrants arriving from the north African country were received on the island of Lampedusa and taken to refugee camps on the mainland. According to Italian Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu, the new policy is an emergency effort to stop the flood of immigrants seeking refuge.
Opponents call the new policy "collective expulsions which are banned by international treaties to which Italy is a signatory", and question whether returned immigrants had time to submit asylum requests. BBC has more. Read MSNBC's coverage of a proposed EU immigrant control plan here.
Libyan leader Muammar GadDafi has pledged his help to free Ken Bigley, the British engineer kidnapped in Iraq last month, according to a report Sunday by Britain's Press Association. After Bigley's brother Paul contacted Gaddafi's London-based son Saif for assistance, members of the Gaddafi family promised to talk to their Middle East contacts. The PA has more.
British police are also investigating a claim on an Islamist website that Bigley will be freed if the UK releases a dozen foreign Islamic militants held in a London high-security prison. Sunday's Guardian has more on this. Last week, negotiators from the Muslim Council of Britain arrived in Iraq to work towards Bigley's release. Meanwhile, Reuters UK reports that Dutch intelligence officials raided the Netherlands home of Paul Bigley, the hostage's brother, and demanded that he hand over names and addresses of the people he has been in contact with in his battle to win the release of his brother.
In Haiti, three politicians associated with exiled president Aristide have been arrested after appearing on Radio Caraibes to comment on pro-Aristide Lavalas Family Party demonstrations that have erupted in violence in recent days, culminating in the murder of at least three policemen and the apparent decision by some police to fire on unarmed demonstrators. During a radio show Saturday, units of the Haitian National Police (PNH) sealed off the neighborhood around the station and announced their intention to arrest the trio. As he was led away in handcuffs, Senate president Yvon Feuille said, "They are kidnapping me. They have no reason to arrest me." A judge told reporters that the politicians were being held on illegal weapons charges.
The Haitian Embassy's report (in French) on human rights violations in the country states that Lavalas party members have been the targets of arbitrary arrests and murders since 1992. The Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti offers this detailed report. AP has more on the story, and the UK's Press Association has more on the country's latest descent into violence, which flared up in the wake of the deaths of at least 1500 people in Tropical Storm Jeanne.
On Monday lawyers for students in some of the poorest school districts in Massachusetts will have 15 minutes to persuade the state's Supreme Judicial Court that the state has yet to meet its constitutional obligation to provide an adequate education to every child in the state.
Monday's hearing is the latest chapter in the remedy phase of the 1993 McDuffy case, in which the court found that Part II, chapter 5, section 2 of the state constitution imposed educational duties on the state. Superior Court Judge Margot Botsford, assigned last year to hear evidence and make recommendations, issued the report [PDF] that led to tomorrow's hearing. School districts suing the state say crowded classrooms and unsafe facilities are common, and the best teachers are frequently lost to wealthier suburbs. AP has more.
French police reported Sunday the arrest of 18-21 people believed to be members of the Basque separatist group, ETA. ETA has waged a campaign of terror throughout the European Union, fighting for the creation of an sovereign Basque state in southern France and northern Spain.
The terrorist group is believed to be responsible for over 800 deaths since 1968. Caught in the raid were two of the organization's leaders, Mikel Albizu Iriarte and Soledad Iparraguirre. Police also discovered a stockpile of weapons, including rocket launchers, munitions, assault rifles and explosives. BBC News has more.
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