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Legal news from Wednesday, October 6, 2010
by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in the highly controversial case of Snyder v. Phelps on protests at military funerals. Reverend Fred Phelps and members of the Westboro Baptist Church [WARNING: readers may find material at this church website offensive; JURIST …

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by Sarah Miley

A federal judge on Wednesday barred key US government witness Hussein Abebe from testifying in the trial against former Guantanamo Bay detainee Ahmed Ghailani. Judge Lewis Kaplan of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) held that prosecutors could not use Abebe's testimony because …

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by Sarah Miley

Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi filed an appeal Tuesday in Myanmar's Supreme Court challenging the dissolution of her opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) under a controversial election law. Suu Kyi is asking the court to annul the part of the election law that bars political prisoners …

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by Andrea Bottorff

The Ethiopian government on Wednesday released former judge and political opposition leader Birtukan Mideksa from an Addis Ababa prison where she had been serving a life sentence. The Ethiopian Justice Ministry said that Mideksa, leader of Unity for Democracy and Justice, asked the government for a pardon last month, a claim that she later confirmed …

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by Ann Riley

Commander of the rebel Mai Mai Cheka Lieutenant Colonel Sadoke Kokunda Mayele was arrested Tuesday by UN peacekeepers and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) government forces for allegedly leading rebel groups in mass rapes in the DRC. The UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the …

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by Dwyer Arce

The human rights situation in East Timor has continued to improve over the last year, despite the need for further reform, according to a report released Tuesday by the UN Integrated Mission In Timor-Leste (UNMIT). The report, Facing the Future, chronicles the human rights situation in the country between July 2009 and June …

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by Dwyer Arce

Canadian military officer Captain Robert Semrau was sentenced Tuesday by a Canadian military judge for the killing of an unarmed Afghan insurgent, avoiding a possible five-year prison sentence. At his sentencing, the judge decided against prison time, but demoted Semrau and ordered him to be discharged from the military within 30 days. Semrau was convicted on …

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