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Legal news from Thursday, July 14, 2011
by Maureen Cosgrove

Jailed Iranian journalist Isa Saharkhiz on Wednesday urged UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur Dr. Ahmad Shaheed to investigate prison conditions in Iran. Saharkhiz alleged that the treatment of both political and general prisoners in Iran amounts to crimes against humanity [RFE/RL report], and compared the conduct of prison authorities to that of …

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by Julia Zebley

Belgium's interim cabinet announced via the Belgian Official Journal Thursday that the nation will be officially banning the burqa. The Belgian House of Representatives voted 136-0 to approve the law in April 2010 and the Senate approved it in May [DPA …

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by Zach Zagger

Human Rights Watch (HRW) Thursday urged Kuwait to immediately release two men being detained for posting messages on the Internet criticizing Middle East rulers. HRW reported that in June authorities detained and investigated Nasser Abul for threatening state security using Twitter and Lawrence al-Rashidi for posting a YouTube video criticizing Kuwait …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

Human Rights Watch (HRW), Civil Rights Defenders (CRD), Front Line Defenders (FLD), Amnesty International (AI) and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) on Thursday released a joint statement urging the Russian government to investigate the murder of rights activist Natalia Estemirova. Estemirova, who was kidnapped in Grozny in July 2009 and shot to death, reported …

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by Julia Zebley

The UK Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that secret service organizations cannot withhold evidence from opposing parties nor conduct closed trials. The appellants, secret service organizations including MI5, appealing a May 2010 ruling, requested the creation of a "closed material procedure," saying the disclosure of their evidence to the appellees, former Guantanamo …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

Former hedge fund trader Danielle Chiesi on Wednesday agreed to pay USD $540,000 to settle a civil charge with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Chiesi was accused of communicating non-public information about IBM Corporation, Advanced Microdevices (AMD) and Sun Microsystems (now Sun-Oracle) in 2008 and 2009 to her superiors at New Castle Funds LLC …

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by Zach Zagger

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York Wednesday blocked a New York City ordinance requiring non-profit pregnancy centers to disclose whether they provide abortion services or emergency contraception. The law [Local Law 17 § 20-816] requires facilities meeting the definition of a "pregnancy center" to disclose certain information …

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by Erin Bock

Members of the US Senate and House of Representatives called on US agencies Wednesday to open an investigation into whether journalists working for the media company News Corporation (News Corp.) and its subsidiaries violated US laws by hacking into the mobile phones of 9/11 victims. The requests are in response to an article …

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