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Legal news from Wednesday, June 17, 2009
by Jaclyn Belczyk

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Wednesday began the retrial of former Rwandan army officer Tharcisse Muvunyi. In August, the ICTR quashed Muvunyi's 25-year prison sentence, ruling that there was insufficient evidence for his conviction on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. He now faces a retrial …

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by Devin Montgomery

US President Barack Obama proposed a broad series of financial regulatory reforms Wednesday intended to reestablish stability and confidence in the US financial system. The plan calls for the expansion of Federal Reserve regulatory powers to cover both bank and non-bank financial institutions, for the Reserve to oversee payment, clearance, and …

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by Christian Ehret

A US House of Representatives subcommittee questioned why a group of Chinese Muslims known as Uighurs is classified as a terrorist organization during a hearing Tuesday. The House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight heard testimony on why the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) [CFR …

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by Christian Ehret

A federal judge said Tuesday that former Guantanamo Bay detainee Ahmed Ghailani can be represented by his military lawyers in civilian court, pending the approval of superior officers. US District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who said he expected the representation to be approved, asked the US Department of Defense to …

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by Christian Ehret

Chinese authorities reaffirmed Tuesday that computer users will not be required to use controversial filtering software, according to media reports. An official from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) echoed earlier statements made by state media that, while the "Green Dam" filtering software must be packaged with new computers, users will …

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by Devin Montgomery

The US State Department (DOS) on Tuesday added Chad, Eritrea, Malaysia, Niger, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe to its list of countries with the worst human trafficking records in the Trafficking in Persons Report 2009. The countries join Burma, Cuba, Fiji, Iran, Kuwait, Mauritania, Niger, North Korea, Papau New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Syria as …

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by Christian Ehret

US Attorney General Eric Holder on Tuesday called for stricter federal hate crime laws, maintaining that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) is committed to working with Congress to pass such legislation. Addressing the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, Holder cited recent crimes that took the lives of …

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by Christian Ehret

US anti-terrorism laws are hindering Muslim charities and violating the constitutional rights of practicing Muslims, according to a report released Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Entitled "Blocking Faith, Freezing Charity," the report alleges that current US laws and policies affect Muslims' right to practice their religion through charitable giving, violating constitutional freedoms …

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by Brian Jackson

Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani said Tuesday that more than 40 police officers face charges following an investigation that revealed abuses in the country's prisons and criminal justice system. Among the alleged abuses, police are believed to have arrested individuals without warrants. Additional allegations, including torture and bribery, were leveled by Ali al-Miyali, an Iraqi …

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by Brian Jackson

Five UN officials on Tuesday decried the manner in which Myanmar has conducted the trial of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Leandro Despouy said that the trial "has been marred by flagrant violations of substantive and procedural rights." Special Rapporteur …

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by Eszter Bardi

A Sri Lanka government official announced Tuesday that an investigation into human rights abuses that allegedly occurred during the 25-year civil war between the government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had ended. A commission of inquiry, established in 2007 to investigate potential abuses, had completed work on fewer than half the …

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by Eszter Bardi

The Supreme Court of Georgia reversed Monday a lower court's order in a divorce case that prohibited the children of a divorced father to be in contact with his gay and lesbian acquaintances. The court disagreed with the qualified visitation rights granted to Eric Mongerson on the grounds that no evidence exists that his homosexual …

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