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Legal news from Monday, July 17, 2006
by Joe Shaulis

Making the first US appearance before the UN Human Rights Committee in more than a decade, American officials on Monday defended their position that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights does not govern many aspects of the war on terror. In a media roundtable in conjunction with a committee hearing in Geneva, Mark …

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by Holly Manges Jones

Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer has signed the controversial anti-terrorism bill which the country's parliament passed on June 29, but says he will allow the country's constitutional court to delete several clauses without specifying which would be stricken. The law has been criticized by media and human rights groups …

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by Holly Manges Jones

The US House of Representatives Monday approved a bill by voice vote that would make a 2000 treaty between the US and Russia effective to protect the future of the world's polar bears (Ursus maritimus). The bill establishes quotas for allowable polar bear hunting in the two countries and prohibits the possession, sale or …

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by Joe Shaulis

Democratic Party officials in Missouri filed a class-action lawsuit Monday seeking a permanent injunction against the enforcement of a new state law that requires voters to show photo identification at the polls [Missouri Dept. Revenue backgrounder]. The law, signed by Gov. Matt Blunt [governor's press release] last month, allows voters who can't …

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by Joe Shaulis

The Supreme Court of Chile has upheld a lower court's ruling stripping former dictator Augusto Pinochet of immunity, allowing a homicide case against him to proceed. The court's public relations office announced Monday that the justices had voted to uphold the appellate court's decision, although they have not yet written an opinion. …

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by Joe Shaulis

ICTY chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte and EU diplomats have criticized a new Serbian plan to arrest war crimes suspect Ratko Mladic as too vague, although they acknowledged "positive elements." The six-point document, which Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica discussed with EU diplomats Monday in Brussels, emphasizes …

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by Joe Shaulis

British Home Secretary John Reid announced Monday that he is banning four groups under the UK Terrorism Act 2006. The UK-based Al-Ghurabaa and the Saved Sect, as well as the foreign groups Baluchistan Liberation Army and Teyrebaz Azadiye Kurdistan, are the first groups to be named …

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by Jaime Jansen

The government of Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is planning to introduce a new law that will clear victims' names and "correct" trial records in an effort to bring justice to victims of former Spanish dictator General Francisco Franco. Some 55,000 people were killed during Franco's 36-year regime. Officials plan to reveal the …

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by Jaime Jansen

Leaders of the US House of Representatives have decided to move forward with a vote on the Marriage Protection Amendment [PDF text; H.J. Res. 88 summary], which would amend the US constitution to ban same-sex marriage, despite a failed vote on the Senate floor in June. As with the Senate vote, the House vote on …

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by Jaime Jansen

British officials from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have decided not to prosecute any individual police officers for the death of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes, who was shot and killed by London police last year after the July London bombings. CPS said there is "insufficient evidence to provide …

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by Jaime Jansen

Saddam Hussein and three co-defendants have entered their tenth day of a hunger strike protesting the lack of security for defense lawyers in their trial, US military spokesman Lt. Col. Keir-Kevin Curry said Monday. Hussein began the hunger strike in protest of trial court procedures and the killings of three defense lawyers, which the …

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by Jaime Jansen

The United States will not help Germany investigate the alleged abduction of Khaled el-Masri, a Lebanese born German citizen who claims that the US Central Intelligence Agency seized him in Macedonia in 2003 in an instance of extraordinary rendition, the German Justice Ministry said Sunday. El-Masri has …

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by Jaime Jansen

Israel is using "internationally prohibited weapons against civilians" in Lebanon as the country faces "real annihilation," according to a statement from Lebanon Information Minister Ghazi Aridi Sunday after an emergency cabinet meeting. Lebanese media reports state that Israel used phosphorus incendiary bombs and vacuum bombs that suck up air and facilitate building collapses. The use of incendiary …

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by Jaime Jansen

Mexican leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who lost the July 2 presidential election by 0.6 percent of the vote to conservative Felipe Calderon, asked supporters Sunday to begin a campaign of "peaceful civil resistance" to bring about a manual recount of the election. …

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by Andrew Wood

Ek Choeun, also known as Ta Mok has slipped into a coma in a Phnom Penh hospital. His lawyer has told reporters he could die this week and is unlikely to survive until the Khmer Rouge genocide tribunal begins holding trials next year. The one-legged Ta Mok, formerly a zone secretary …

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