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International brief ~ Israel imposes sanctions against Hamas

[JURIST] Leading Monday's international brief, the Israeli Cabinet has agreed to impose a hefty series of sanctions against the Palestinian Authority (PA) [JURIST news archive] unless the ruling party of Hamas [MIPT backgrounder] commits to non-violence and drops its call for the destruction of Israel. Acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert [official profile] told the cabinet that Hamas' majority status in the Palestinian Legislative Council [official website in Arabic] has turned the PA and the PLC into "terrorist entities" and that Israel would immediately begin withholding nearly $50 million (US) in customs duties that Israel collects on behalf of the PA. The sanctions also include an increase in checkpoint security between Palestinian and Israeli territory and travel restrictions on any members of Hamas. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Israel [JURIST news archive]. The Middle East Times has local coverage.

In other international legal news ...

  • A Japanese court-ordered psychological report on Shoko Asahara [BBC profile], founder of the Aum Shinrikyo [FAS backgrounder] which carried out the Sarin nerve gas attack [MIPT report] on a Tokyo subway station in 1995, has established that Asahara is faking mental illness and is fit to attend court for the appellate review of his death sentence. Asahara was sentenced to death by hanging [BBC report] in 2003 for his part in the Sarin attack, which killed 12 and injured over 5,000. Asahara's lawyers postponed the submission of their appeal of his death sentence, claiming that they couldn't communicate with their client. The court ordered a psychological report to establish Asahara's competence is likely to now require a final submission from his lawyers. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Japan [JURIST news archive]. The Mainichi Daily Times has local coverage.

  • The Sudanese Parliament is scheduled to vote Monday on the Organization of Humanitarian and Voluntary Work Bill 2006 [PDF text] that will impose a series of regulations on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that seek to operate inside Sudan. The bill was presented following a challenge to an attempt by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir [BBC profile] to initiate the measures through a presidential edict [JURIST report]. Human rights NGO Amnesty International [advocacy website] has raised concerns that the proposed legislation would violate fundamental rights and freedoms under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [text] as well as the Sudanese Interim National Constitution [PDF text]. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Sudan [JURIST news archive]. The Sudan Tribune has local coverage.

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