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Legal news from Wednesday, March 14, 2012
by Dan Taglioli

A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Tuesday struck down two recently-enacted parts of the Illinois Election Code designed to cap campaign contributions. Judge Marvin Aspen issued an injunction against the Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBE) from enforcing § 5/9-8.5(d) prohibiting any political action committee …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The Supreme Court of Argentina ruled on Tuesday that rape victims cannot be prosecuted for seeking abortions. The Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the lower court's ruling which allowed a 15-year-old girl to obtain an abortion after she was sexually assaulted by her stepfather. In its decision, the court adopted a …

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by Max Slater

Syrian authorities have systematically tortured citizens held in detention, Amnesty International (AI) reported Tuesday. The report, entitled, "'I wanted to die' Syria's torture survivors speak out," catalogs testimony from Syrian civilians who have allegedly survived torture, detention or other harsh treatment at the hands of Syrian authorities. In addition to chronicling claims of widespread torture …

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by Katherine Getty

Brazilian prosecutors on Tuesday announced plans to charge a retired colonel for his actions during a military dictatorship that ended more than 25 years ago. The colonel, Sebastiao Curio Rodrigues de Moura ("Curio") was considered to be a ruthless major who oversaw the Amazon section of the country after the …

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by Jennie Ryan

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Wednesday urged Libyan officials to investigate the allegations of human rights abuse in the country during the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi. The Secretary-General's call for the National Transitional Council (NTC) to investigate comes just days after the International Commission of Inquiry on Libya released its …

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by Dan Taglioli

The International Criminal Court (ICC) Wednesday issued its first verdict, a unanimous decision that Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) militia leader Thomas Lubanga Dyilo is guilty of the war crimes of enlisting and conscripting children under the age of 15 and using them to participate actively in hostilities. The three-judge Trial …

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by Katherine Getty

The Mexican Senate unanimously passed legislation Tuesday that would amend Article 73 of the Constitution to make attacks against journalists a federal crime. The action comes following the deaths or disappearances of almost 50 journalists over the last five years. Most threats against journalists purportedly come from local and federal officers and …

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by Jennie Ryan

China's National People's Congress (NPC) on Wednesday passed a law allowing police to detain certain suspects for up to six months in secret detention facilities commonly known as "black jails." The new law is an amendment to China's Criminal Procedure Law and allows for the arrest and secret detention of those …

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by Jerry Votava

Obama administration official Melanie Ann Pustay on Tuesday testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee to urge congressional officials to amend the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to strengthen government's ability to prevent disclosure of information related to critical infrastructure and cybersecurity. Pustay's request comes just over a year after the US Supreme …

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