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Legal news from Wednesday, June 11, 2008
by Deirdre Jurand

The UK House of Commons Wednesday voted 315-306 in favor of an amendment to a proposed anti-terror bill [materials; BBC Q/A] that would allow authorities to detain terror suspects without charge for up to 42 days. Rights groups, opposition MPs and even some governing Labour Party backbenchers sharply criticized the measure, but a majority …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev Wednesday reiterated his commitment to improving Russia's human rights record, preserving an independent media, and enforcing the rule of law. Speaking at the opening of the 10th World Russian Press Congress, the former lawyer said said:Dear friends, this jubilee Congress is taking place on the eve of our national …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Former Bosnian Serb police commander Stojan Zupljanin was arrested by Serbian authorities Wednesday. Zupljanin is wanted by the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity, and violations of the laws of war for allegedly killing civilians during the ethnic conflicts of the 1990s. Bosnian Serb leaders Ratko Mladic …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Ousted Pakistan Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry Tuesday joined protests calling for the restoration of judges ousted by President Pervez Musharraf during his emergency rule last November. Members of the Pakistan lawyers' movement began the protests Monday, following through on last month's promise to hold …

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by Deirdre Jurand

Judges for the US Court of Appeals for The Third Circuit revoked the US citizenship of a former Nazi guard on Tuesday because he had obtained it illegally. The US Department of Justice alleged that Anton Geiser, an 83-year-old Pennsylvania resident, served as an SS guard at two concentration camps before the US government mistakenly granted …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Friday denied a request to extradite genocide suspect Gaspard Kanyarukiga to Rwanda for trial. The former businessman is said to have planned and supervised large-scale killings of Tutsis in Rwanda's Kibuye prefecture through a conspiracy with police and government officials. The ICTR ruled [PDF text; …

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by Deirdre Jurand

A US State Department official Tuesday defended the transfer of suspects to foreign countries based on diplomatic assurances that they will not face torture there. Speaking before the House Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight, Legal Advisor John Bellinger testified that, under the Convention against Torture and US policy, suspects will …

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by Nick Fiske

A spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Tuesday defended the UN's process for choosing a new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The current Commissioner, Louise Arbour, announced in March that she would not seek a second term and plans to step down on June 30, but many have strongly …

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by Nick Fiske

Human Rights Watch (HRW) Tuesday renewed its call for Indonesia to protect freedom of religion when it stated that the Indonesian government should reverse a decree issued Monday that provides for the prosecution of members of a controversial Islamic sect who continue to spread the religion. Under the decree, Ahmadiyah Muslims face up to five …

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