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Legal news from Wednesday, June 23, 2010
by Drew Singer

The Kenyan Interim Independent Constitutional Dispute Resolution Court ruled Wednesday that prisoners of sound mind will be allowed to vote in a referendum on the country's proposed constitution. Kenya's current constitution bans convicts from voting in presidential, parliamentary and civic elections, but convicts from Kenya's Shimo La Tewa Prison petitioned the court [BBC …

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by Sarah Miley

A Pakistani court on Wednesday reimposed a ban on the video sharing network YouTube after content deemed offensive to Muslims resurfaced on the website when a previous ban was lifted last month. The court also restricted access to Yahoo, MSN, Hotmail, Google, Islam Exposed, In The Name Of Allah, Amazon and Bing. The court ordered …

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by Dwyer Arce

The Kenyan Parliament on Tuesday gave preliminary approval to legislation that would create severe penalties for human traffickers, including life imprisonment for repeat offenders. The Counter-Trafficking in Persons Bill, 2010 was unanimously approved by the parliament, and will now be considered again by the body before being sent to President Mwai Kibaki …

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by Hillary Stemple

The Spanish Senate on Wednesday approved a motion calling on the Spanish government to ban the use of full face veils in public places. The motion, passed by a vote of 131 to 129, would ban use of both the burqa and niqab. The motion was approved one …

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by Hillary Stemple

Libya has made some progress with regards to human rights, but the situation remains "dire," according to a report released Wednesday by Amnesty International (AI). The report details Libya's rise in prominence within the international community and warns other countries against turning a "blind eye" to the human rights situation within Libya in …

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by Dwyer Arce

A group of 55 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on Tuesday urged the Thai government to end its state of emergency. The statement comes after the UN Human Rights Council unanimously elected Thai Ambassador Sihasak Phuangketkeow to the presidency, along with electing the Cuban ambassador to the vice-presidency. The two countries …

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by Sarah Miley

The UK Metropolitan Police on Tuesday launched an investigation into whether Google violated privacy laws while collecting information over Wi-Fi networks for its Street View maps. The probe was initiated in response to a complaint filed by Privacy International (PI), which claims that the information …

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by Hillary Stemple

The Sri Lankan government on Wednesday strongly rejected the appointment of a UN panel to investigate allegations of human rights abuses during the last months of the Sri Lankan civil war. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the formation of the panel on Tuesday in order to investigate alleged …

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by Sarah Miley

US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar confirmed Tuesday that the Department of Justice will appeal a federal court decision to issue a preliminary injunction against a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling. The ban was issued last month by the Obama administration in response to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill …

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by Dwyer Arce

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Tuesday urged the Indonesian government to release secession activists and adhere to international standards of free speech. The report, "Prosecuting Political Aspiration: Indonesia's Political Prisoners," criticized the Indonesian government for its treatment of people imprisoned for peaceful political expression related to the Papuan and Moluccan [GlobalSecurity …

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by Erin Bock

A group of legal reform organizations on Tuesday called on US government officials to make judicial nominations "a top priority" and to fill judicial vacancies "expeditiously." The letter, sent to President Barack Obama, the Senate majority and minority leaders as well as the leadership of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called on the parties …

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by Patrice Collins

A federal judge on Tuesday denied a motion filed on behalf of the Nigerian government seeking to formally observe the trial of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, accused of attempting to set off an explosive device on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 bound from Amsterdam to Detroit last Christmas. The government sought to observe the proceedings [Bloomberg …

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