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Legal news from Tuesday, February 26, 2008
by Kiely Lewandowski

The human rights of inmates in Nigerian prisons are "systematically violated," Amnesty International said in a Tuesday report based on visits to 10 prisons across Nigeria over the last six months. According to the report:Approximately 65 percent of the inmates are awaiting trial, most of whom have been waiting for their trial for …

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by Deirdre Jurand

Former Argentinian President Fernando de la Rua Tuesday denied charges that he attempted to bribe lawmakers with millions of dollars to secure the approval of labor reforms during his presidency from 1999 to December 2001. Judge Daniel Rafecas formally charged de la Rua Monday. Nine other former officials are facing related bribery charges. De la …

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by Devin Montgomery

The military government of Myanmar Tuesday announced that it has enacted a law to govern the May referendum on a new constitution for the country. The government said the law sets procedures for voting, announcing results, and imposing penalties for the violation of its provisions. The government said it has also named …

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by Deirdre Jurand

A panel convened by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) said Tuesday that US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is violating the constitutional rights of US workers by conducting illegal searches and seizures in workplace raids to find illegal immigrants. The UFCW's National Commission on ICE Misconduct and Violations of Fourth Amendment …

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by Devin Montgomery

Belarusian authorities Tuesday granted jailed opposition politician Alexander Kozulin a three-day release from prison to attend the funeral of his wife, who died on Saturday. Kozulin was sentenced to over five years in prison in July 2006 for leading unauthorized protests over the controversial re-election of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko [official website; BBC …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Agents with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urged EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson to approve California's request for a waiver that would have allowed it to impose stricter greenhouse gas emissions standards on cars and light trucks, saying that a denial could compromise the agency's integrity, according to internal documents …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

Leaders of 34 international bar associations and law societies called for the "immediate closure" of the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay in a letter released Monday. The letter, addressed to US President George W. Bush and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, said:Few governmental operations in democratic countries have shown such a profound disrespect for the rule …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Nigeria's Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal on Tuesday upheld the results of last year's disputed presidential elections, saying that opposition groups failed to present sufficient evidence to support their fraud allegations. European Union and NGO observers questioned the results of last April's poll, and fraud allegations included multiple voting, stuffing and missing ballot boxes. The election …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The European Court of Justice on Tuesday ruled that an employee's "dismissal essentially based on the fact that a woman is at an advanced stage of in vitro fertilisation treatment is contrary to the principle of equal treatment for men and women." The ruling came in the case of an Austrian woman who …

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by Lisl Brunner

Guatemala on Monday announced plans to declassify documents describing human rights abuses committed by its military during the country's 1960-1996 civil war. Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom has created a panel to review the documents, which the military has thus far refused to release, with a view to selecting those that …

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by Leslie Schulman

The Israeli Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a controversial plea agreement for former Israeli President Moshe Katsav, in which Katsav was permitted to plead guilty to lesser sex charges in exchange for a suspended sentence and the dropping of rape charges brought against him in 2006. Under a deal …

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by Leslie Schulman

A Malaysian court Tuesday rejected a bid to free five prominent members of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), ruling that they were lawfully detained under Malaysia's controversial Internal Security Act (ISA), which permits the government to detain suspects for two years without trial and to renew the detention indefinitely. The five were arrested [JURIST …

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by Leslie Schulman

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit in federal court Monday challenging a Tennessee state law that requires convicted felons to pay "all outstanding legal financial obligations" before their voting rights are restored. The lawsuit, brought on behalf of three convicted felons who have completed their imprisonment terms, challenges Sections 40-29-202(b) and (c) …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The US Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that testimony from workers who suffered job bias but were not parties to a federal age discrimination case "is neither per se admissible nor per se inadmissible" under the Federal Rules of Evidence. The decision came in Sprint/United Management Co. v. Mendelsohn, where the US …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Russia is clamping down "on the freedoms of assembly and expression in the run-up to parliamentary and presidential elections," according to a report released by Amnesty International Tuesday. Amnesty expressed concern that authorities are harassing rights activists and journalists monitoring opposition demonstrations, and said that police have used violence in breaking up some opposition events while …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Tuesday ordered some 70 Internet service providers to restore access to video-sharing website YouTube, lifting an order issued last week blocking access over "blasphemous" posted on the site. The PTA issued a statement Monday explaining the order, saying it was in response to a movie trailer …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Former Khmer Rouge prison chief Kaing Guek Eav, also known as Duch, visited the Choeung Ek "killing field" Tuesday as part of an on-site investigation by co-investigating judges of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). The tribunal described the investigation as "a normal investigative action, the …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said Monday that the FCC is "ready, willing, and able to step in if necessary" to ensure a proper balance is struck between consumer proponents of "net neutrality" principles and the telecommunication industry's interest in controlling the flow and content of Internet traffic over its networks. The issue of net neutrality …

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by Jeannie Shawl

British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Barry Davies has ruled that Section 184.4 of the Canadian Criminal Code, which allows law enforcement officers to electronically intercept private communications in "exceptional circumstances" without court authorization, is unconstitutional because it violates "the fundamental freedom to be free from unreasonable search and seizure" protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A federal jury in Hartford, Connecticut on Monday found five former insurance executives guilty of charges of conspiracy, securities fraud, false statements to the SEC, and mail fraud in connection with a scheme to falsely inflate the financial health of American International Group (AIG), one of the world's largest insurance companies. Four of the defendants worked for …

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