International brief ~ Turk parliament votes to investigate security forces for killing

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's international brief, the Turkish Parliament [government website in Turkish] has voted to investigate the grenade bombing of a former Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) [advocacy website] member in the primarily Kurdish town of Semdinli. The attacker, an informant for the paramilitary police, was chased from the scene and captured at his vehicle, along with two paramilitary police officers. Parliament set up a 12 member commission to investigate the connection between the bombing and the police and military officials. The commission will have the power to recommend prosecution of suspects from its investigation. Kurdish opposition groups have long maintained that the Turkish government allows extra-judicial attacks by its military and paramilitary police forces. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Turkey [JURIST news archive]. Reuters has more.

In other international legal news ...

  • The UN Security Council [official website] passed Resolution 1640 on Wednesday threatening Eritrea with sanctions unless the nation lifts the restrictions it instituted at the beginning of October against UN peacekeeping forces patrolling the Eritrean-Ethiopian border. The restrictions prohibited members of the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea [official website] from flying helicopters within a buffer zone above the contested border and denied peacekeepers the right to patrol the border region at night. The restrictions have led to UN forces leaving 18 of its 40 posts in the area and prompted the Security Council to threaten sanctions against the government if it continues to enforce the restrictions. Read the official UN press release. The Sudan Tribune has local coverage

  • The Ugandan Government [official website] announced Wednesday that it has suspended all public demonstrations and meetings concerning the arrest and trial of Kizza Besigye [BBC profile], president of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change party and chief challenger to incumbent President Yoweri Museveni in the 2006 election, on charges of treason and rape [JURIST report]. Interior Minister Ruhakana Rugunda also announced that all radio programs were prohibited from mentioning the trial until its conclusion before the courts. On Thursday, the Ugandan government stepped up security around the courthouse where Besigye is being tried. Besigye was granted bail, but didn't leave the jail when it became apparent that military police were on hand to rearrest him on charges before the military court. The US government has called on Uganda [JURIST report] to ensure that the trial is completed prior to the scheduled 2006 election. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Uganda [JURIST news archive]. IRIN News has more.

  • South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has received the case file from the Praetorian police concerning allegations that former South African Vice-President Jacob Zuma [ANC profile] committed rape. The NPA has the authority to decide whether or not to pursue a criminal prosecution of any individual. Zuma, fired by South African President Thabo Mbeki [official profile] for allegations of corruption [JURIST report], has been the center of controversy for the ruling African National Congress party [official website], as many constituents still support Zuma as Mbeki's natural political successor and view the corruption and now the rape charges as political tactics to ensure he cannot run for office. The NPA said a spokesman will announce its decision, but refuses to comment any further in the interests of the accused's rights. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of South Africa [JURIST news archive]. South Africa's Mail and Guardian Online has local coverage.


 

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