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Legal news from Wednesday, July 13, 2011
by Julia Zebley

A polygamous family filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in the US District Court for the District of Utah seeking to overturn the state's prohibition on bigamy [Utah Code 76-7-101] as a violation of their civil rights. While the complaint acknowledges that the US Supreme Court upheld the criminalization of polygamy in Reynolds v. US …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Wednesday urged opposition forces in Libya to protect civilians in controlled areas and hold accountable those rebel forces responsible for abusing civilians as well as looting and arson. Rebel fighters have reportedly committed abuses against civilians and civilian property in captured towns over the past month, including damaging property, burning …

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by Julia Zebley

The State Council Information Office (SICO) of China said Wednesday that they are in the process of drafting a new human rights plan to be fully implemented by 2015. Declaring the National Human Rights Action Plan of China (NHRAP) of 2009 completed, the director of SICO, Wang Chen, announced the …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) said Tuesday that violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people persists in the US and that violence disproportionately impacted transgender people and minorities. The report presented findings that hate violence against LGBT individuals increased by 13 percent from 2009 to 2010 and anti-LGBT …

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by Zach Zagger

The Supreme Court of Mexico ruled Tuesday that abuses by members of the military should be tried in civilian courts rather than military tribunals. The court issued a unanimous ruling ordering that military officers and personnel be tried in civilian courts when accused of torture, extrajudicial killing and other human rights abuses. Prior …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) said Wednesday the Myanmar military is committing war crimes by forcing convicts to serve as porters on the front lines. In a report entitled "Dead Men Walking: Convict Porters on the Front Lines in Eastern Burma," HRW and KHRG argue that convicts …

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by Julia Zebley

Judge Burton Lifland of the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York approved the first settlement payments to victims of the $65 billion Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, sending payments of approximately $200,000 to 1,224 claimants on Tuesday. Lifland also authorized a fund to hold $2.6 billion until various appeals …

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by Sarah Posner

Bangladesh prosecutors on Tuesday filed war crime charges in the International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh (ICTB) against Delwar Hossain Sayedee for genocide, murder and rape allegedly committed during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. Sayedee is a senior leader of the Islamist group Jamaat e Islami (JI). Bangladesh chief prosecutor issued charges after an investigation …

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