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Legal news from Friday, October 20, 2006
by Alexis Unkovic

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Friday decried any potential action by the UN Security Council to impose sanctions against Iran for continuing to enrich uranium past a August 31 deadline imposed by Security Council Resolution 1696, saying such action would be "illegitimate." UK Ambassador to the UN Emyr Jones …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The Tunisian government has launched a new campaign against the public wearing of hijabs [III&E backgrounder], the headscarves worn by many Muslim women in the predominantly Islamic state north African state. Police have begun stopping Muslim women wearing the hijab on the street, asking them to remove it, and to sign an affidavit promising to …

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by Alexis Unkovic

Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht won his appeal of an "admonishment" he received in May for allegedly improperly using the power of his office to support the nomination of his friend, Harriet Miers, to the US Supreme Court. A three-judge panel of the Special Court of Review, appointed by the Texas …

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by Joe Shaulis

A lawyer for a Muslim teaching assistant suspended by a British school for refusing to remove her full-face veil (niqab; Wikipedia backgrounder) during class said Friday she planned to appeal a local tribunal's decision to the European Court of Justice. The Kirklees West Yorkshire Council employment tribunal on Thursday rejected discrimination and …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The National Organization for Human Rights in Syria announced Friday that the release of jailed Syrian writer and activist Michel Kilo, who was set to be released on bail Thursday, has been delayed due to procedural holdups. Kilo was one of ten activists arrested after signing the so-called Beirut-Damascus Declaration of 12 May …

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by Joe Shaulis

The government of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is amending a civil unions law that was overturned by the federal government earlier this year, ACT Attorney General Simon Corbell said Friday. Corbell told an Australian Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission inquiry into discrimination against people in same-sex relationships …

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by Michael Sung

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal (OHCHR-Nepal) has urged the Seven Party Alliance Government and the Maoist faction in Nepal to adhere to their commitments to protect human rights, saying in a statement Thursday that although there have been efforts to combat impunity those "measures have been far …

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by Stefanie Presley

New York's Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, handed down a 6-0 decision Thursday, banning Catholic Charities and nine other social service organizations from refusing to provide birth control insurance coverage for their employees. The decision hinged on whether such organizations would be classified as social services agencies or as churches under …

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by Joe Shaulis

The US Justice Department has issued a notice informing the US District Court for the District of Columbia that it no longer has jurisdiction over 196 habeas corpus cases brought by detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The DOJ notice came one day after President Bush signed the Military Commissions Act of …

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by Lisl Brunner

The US Department of State's top legal advisor asked Friday that the UK and other foreign governments to help repatriate detainees at Guantanamo Bay rather than calling for closure of the prison. In an interview with the BBC, John Bellinger stated "If we really want to reduce the numbers to send …

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by Lisl Brunner

A Turkish veterans association has announced that it will bring lawsuits before the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of 6,317 Turks allegedly killed in the southern province of Gaziantep by French and Armenian troops when France occupied the territory during World War I. Turkish National Power Veterans Association leader Sevret Saltan says that …

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by Lisl Brunner

Australia's justice minister has denounced the five year detention without trial of Australian citizen David Hicks in Australia's boldest official statement in several months concerning the Guantanamo prisoner. In a speech in Perth to the International Criminal Lawyers' Conference, Christopher Ellison said of the Australian government, "We have made it clear that …

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by Kate Heneroty

US President George W. Bush has authorized the first changes to the US space policy in nearly 10 years by asserting authority to deny access to space to any adversary hostile to US interests. An unclassified version of the new US National Space Policy is posted on the website of the Office of Science and Technology Policy …

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by Kate Heneroty

Michael Dewayne Johnson, a death row inmate in Texas, committed suicide Thursday, 15-hours before he was scheduled to die by lethal injection. Johnson was convicted of murdering a gas station attendant in 1995, but maintained that he was only a companion to the shooter. Johnson's companion was released from prison after serving an eight-year term in …

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by Kate Heneroty

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday that she raised concerns over China's human rights records during a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing that focused on North Korea and Iran's nuclear activities. Rice did not give specifics but said that she discussed "human rights and the importance of …

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by Kate Heneroty

US District Judge Ricardo Urbina has ordered the Secret Service to release visitor logs for the personal residence and office of Vice-President Dick Cheney. In his ruling Wednesday, Urbina gave the Bush Administration until next week to either release the records or provide a reason why they are being withheld. The order was issued …

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