International brief ~ Five former royal cabinet members arrested in Nepal

[JURIST] Leading Friday's international brief, five individuals who served as the political cabinet for King Gyanendra [official profile] after he dissolved the lawfully elected government [JURIST report] in February 2005 have been arrested on charges of "making statements aimed at disturbing the public peace." The five former ministers were all arrested at their homes by police officials following the procurement of an arrest warrant from the prosecutor's office. The Council of Ministers also suspended the leaders of all four of Nepal's security forces, after the judicial commission [JURIST report] created to investigate government abuses during the recent pro-democracy protests [JURIST news archive] suggested that all four men be removed in connection with alleged violations of protester's rights. eKantipur.com has local coverage.

In other international legal news ...

  • The vote on a bill proposing to normalize travel [Taiwan News report] between China and Taiwan currently pending before the Taiwanese National Assembly [official website] has been postponed after the current ruling party and its allies resorted to chanting protests and waving placards in the legislative building to delay the ability to call for a vote on Friday. The proposed legislation would remove all travel restrictions between China and Taiwan, which have been in place since the two countries severed diplomatic relations in 1949, by amending the Act Governing the Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area [text]. The leading opposition political party claims it has gathered enough support to force the bill through, while members of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party [party website] claim that the bill is a betrayal of Taiwan's sovereignty. BBC News has more.

  • The head of the UN humanitarian office in Chad told reporters Thursday that the UN was working in cooperation with the government of Chad [presidential website] to develop a strategy for the deployment of UN peacekeepers in the region bordering Darfur [JURIST news archive]. Chad has been combating rebel attacks from groups based in Darfur and has already absorbed thousands of refugees fleeing the ongoing humanitarian crisis. Kingsley Amaning said that Chad and the UN were drawing up plans to create a UN peacekeeping force that would be tasked with combating the rebel attacks and ensuring the safety of fleeing refugees. Chad has already told the international community that Darfur must be pacified, warning that the country's economy cannot absorb many more refugees. The Sudan Tribune has local coverage.

  • Public opposition to the "Euthanasia bill" currently being prepared for its second reading next week in the British House of Lords [official website] has increased as civil rights and religious activists have expressed concerns that the patients would feel "obligated" to choose euthanasia. Current tallies show support for the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill [text] well below the level needed for passage, and even if approved in the House of Lords, it would still have to gain a majority approval in the House of Commons [official website], a step viewed as highly unlikely. The bill proposes to allow British doctors to present the option of euthanasia to patients with less than six months to live and "extreme suffering." Opponents argue that the bill would have doctors administering lethal injections to patients. BBC News has local coverage.

 

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