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Legal news from Friday, February 6, 2009
by Jaclyn Belczyk

Nominee for director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Leon Panetta said Friday that the Obama administration will not prosecute CIA officials who used harsh interrogation techniques, reiterating testimony he gave Thursday. After a second day of confirmation hearings before the US Senate Intelligence Committee, Panetta told reporters that he would …

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by Devin Montgomery

Britain's House of Lords Constitution Committee released a report Friday saying that the country's use of widespread video surveillance and personal data collection pose a threat to citizens' privacy and freedom. The committee said that while such surveillance and data collection could serve legitimate law-enforcement purposes, those interests should be balanced against …

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by Kayleigh Shebs

Many UN member states are failing to hold other countries accountable for human rights violations, according to a UN Watch report released Friday. The report, entitled "Mutual Praise Society," focused on meetings of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and tracked reports made by various countries about the status of other …

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by Tarah Park

US State Department spokesperson Robert Wood said Wednesday that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has told Congress that she intends to begin preliminary negotiations with Russia on a new treaty that would significantly lower nuclear stockpiles in both countries. The 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which limited the US and …

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by Kayleigh Shebs

Convening authority of military commissions Susan Crawford announced Thursday that the Pentagon has formally dropped charges against suspected USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahimal al-Nashiri. Crawford's order ends the last active military commission trial, complying with President Barack Obama's executive order mandating a reprieve …

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by Tarah Park

Sudan reissued a request to the UN Security Council Thursday to delay for one year war crimes charges against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for alleged genocide in Darfur. International Criminal Court (ICC) chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has sought an arrest warrant for al-Bashir on charges of genocide, war crimes, and crimes …

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by Christian Ehret

Human Rights Watch (HRW) researcher Rachael Reid responded Friday to media accusations that she received secret information from British officer Lt. Col. Owen McNally, arrested this week on suspicion of leaking secret information regarding civilian casualty figures in Afghanistan. Reid accused the UK Ministry of Defense (MOD) of falsely informing the …

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by Christian Ehret

 US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) [5 U.S.C. § 552 text; JURIST news archive] show that Bush administration immigration enforcement tactics were both overly-aggressive and ineffective, the Cardozo School of Law's Immigration Justice Clinic said Wednesday. The documents show that in 2006 ICE policy increased arrest quotas …

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by Andrew Morgan

A Turkish court on Thursday sentenced a Kurdish member of the Grand National Assembly, the Turkish parliament, to 18 months in prison on charges of spreading terrorist propaganda. Aysel Tugluk was convicted in connection with a speech she gave in 2006 during which she explained her party's objection to labeling the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party …

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