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Legal news from Thursday, October 23, 2008

[JURIST] A Burundi military court Thursday sentenced Colonel Vital Bangirinama [Human Rights Watch backgrounder] to death for his role in the 2006 killings of 31 civilians in Muyinga province. Human rights groups, which had previously criticized the Burundi government [CIA backgrounder] for not actively prosecuting its own military officers for … [read more]

[JURIST] Hu Jia [advocacy blog; JURIST news archive], a Chinese human rights activist convicted in April on charges of inciting subversion of state power [JURIST news archive], was awarded the Sakharov Prize [press release] on Thursday by the European Parliament [official website], for his fight for democracy. Hu has become … [read more]

[JURIST] The Constitutional Court of Turkey [official website, in Turkish] on Wednesday published its decision [text, in Turkish] striking down recent amendments to the Turkish Constitution [text; materials] to allow the wearing of headscarves in universities. Explaining the reasoning for its ruling [JURIST report] in June, the court held that … [read more]

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights Martin Scheinin [official site; JURIST news archive] Wednesday urged the UN to restructure or eliminate the existing terrorist "blacklisting" system [press release; recorded video]. Currently, the Security Council's Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee [official site] maintains a list … [read more]

[JURIST] The German Federal Foreign Office [official website, in German] on Wednesday rejected a ruling by Italy's highest court ordering Germany to pay damages to relatives of civilians killed in the town of Civitella during World War II. The Italian Court of Cassation [official website, in Italian] on Tuesday awarded … [read more]

[JURIST] The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website; JURIST news archive] has denied requests by former Khmer Rouge officials Nuon Chea and Ieng Sary [decisions, PDF] to receive court-appointed medical experts who would determine whether the men are fit to stand trial to face war crimes … [read more]

[JURIST] The European Court of First Instance [official website] on Thursday struck down [case materials] a decision [PDF text] by the Council of the European Union [official website] freezing the assets of the prominent Iranian opposition group People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) [group website]. The court annulled the 2007 … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Department of Defense [official website] announced Wednesday that it has filed new war crimes charges against two Kuwaiti men held at the US detention center in Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. Fouad Rabia, a US-educated aeronautical engineer suspected of running a supply depot at Tora Bora, and … [read more]

[JURIST] A South African judge Wednesday gave prosecutors leave to appeal a ruling dismissing corruption charges [JURIST report] against Jacob Zuma [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], head of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) [party website]. Zuma is expected to become president after next year’s elections, although he has pledged … [read more]

[JURIST] The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) [official website] Wednesday sentenced former Bosnian Serb special police officer Vaso Todorovic [BiH backgrounder] to six years in prison for committing crimes against humanity in the Srebrenica massacre [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. Todorovic was previously charged with genocide before accepting a … [read more]

[JURIST] A judicial panel of the UK House of Lords [official website] Wednesday ruled [judgment text] that the British government acted within its power in denying a group of Indian Ocean islanders known as Chagossians [advocacy website] the right to return to an archipelago under British control. The group had … [read more]

[JURIST] A Canadian government inquiry has found [report, PDF] that officials of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canada Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) [official websites] "indirectly contributed" to the torture of three citizens while in Syria [JURIST news archive] between 2001 and 2004. The men, Ahmed Al Maati, … [read more]

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