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Legal news from Friday, March 9, 2007
by Mike Rosen-Molina

A Swiss court Friday convicted Turkish Workers Party leader Dogu Perincek for denying that the mass killings of 1.5 million Armenians during World War I constituted genocide. The Swiss canton of Vaud, where Perincek made the denial in a 2005 speech, passed a law in 2003 criminalizing the …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

US military hearings on whether 14 top terror suspects formerly held in CIA secret prisons qualify as "enemy combatants" began Friday at Guantanamo Bay. Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs) will determine the status of Abu Zubaydah, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Riduan Isamuddin, …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Cambodian government uses systematic human rights and civil liberty violations to maintain its hold on power, according to a report by UN special rights representative Yash Ghai and obtained by AFP. The report listed illegal land grabs, torture while in police custody, corruption among senior government officials, and a steadfast government opposition to democracy among other …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Ugandan judges Friday agreed to call off a strike after President Yoweri Museveni wrote a letter to the judiciary, expressing regret for a March 1 siege of the Ugandan High Court. The judges went on strike Monday to protest the incident, in which state security agents surrounded the courthouse and rearrested six defendants …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

The US DC Circuit Court of Appeals Friday invoked the Second Amendment to reverse a lower court ruling and strike down a three-decades old ban on individuals in the District of Columbia having handguns in their homes. The 2-1 ruling is likely to be appealed to the US Supreme Court. The Second Amendment to the …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A federal judge in Argentina Thursday ordered former president Reynaldo Bignone arrested for his alleged role in disappearances and human rights abuses during Argentina's 1976-83 "Dirty War". Judge Alberto Suarez Araujo ordered Bignone's arrest as part of an investigation into alleged human rights abuses that occurred at secret detention centers …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Flights carrying illegal workers caught in a federal raid in New Bedford, Massachusetts to a deportation holding facility in Texas were delayed Thursday after Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick asked federal authorities to stop the flights until the workers' children could be accounted for. The US Department of Homeland Security detained more than 300 …

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by Michael Sung

The Bangladeshi interim government issued a complete ban on political activities late Thursday, stating that "the government will take stern action against anyone who breaches" the order. The announcement, issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, expands the January 11 state of emergency order by President Iajuddin Ahmed, which prohibited street protests, public meetings or …

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by Michael Sung

Bolivian President Evo Morales told reporters Friday that his government has a desire to "renounce the recourse to war under the Republic of Bolivia's new constitution." Morales made the remarks following a meeting in Tokyo with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose country already has a constitution with …

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by Michael Sung

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry Friday "after receiving numerous complaints and serious allegations for misconduct, misuse of authority and actions prejudicial to the dignity of office of the Chief Justice of Pakistan." Musharraf has directed the Supreme Judicial Council, the oversight body of Pakistan's judiciary, to …

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by Michael Sung

Portugal's parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, loosened Portugal's strict abortion law Thursday to allow abortions in the first 10-weeks of pregnancy. The legislation still requires the endorsement of President Anibal Cavaco Silva to come into effect. In February, Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates said he would …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

Britain's most senior judge assailed recent government sentencing guidelines in a speech Thursday, warning that minimums set in 2003 threatened to eventually fill up the country's prisons with "geriatric lifers" and would have negative consequences for years to come. Speaking at Birmingham University, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, also expressed concern about …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Six foreign medics sentenced to death in Libya will not be executed, according to Libyan Secretary of the Foreign Affairs Committee Suleiman Shahoumi, quoted by Bulgarian media. In December, a Libyan court found five Bulgarian nurses and one Palestinian doctor found guilty of deliberately infecting 426 children with the HIV virus and …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

A US Department of Justice review of the FBI's use of so-called national security letters (NSLs) and ex parte orders for business records criticizes the Bureau for ineffective management, monitoring and reporting of the programs. The DOJ Office of the Inspector General (OIG) conducted the review under the terms of the 2005 Patriot Act renewal …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

UN High Commissioner Louise Arbour marked International Women's Day Thursday with a stark message on violence against women, urging an end to impunity for what was paradoxically the "most common but least punished crime in the world" in an environment where "most States have largely accepted the international normative framework aimed at …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told senators in a private meeting Thursday that the Bush administration would drop its objection to proposed legislation requiring Senate confirmation of all US Attorneys, reversing a rule change approved a year ago in the Patriot Act reauthorization allowing the Attorney General to replace removed US attorneys with …

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