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Legal news from Wednesday, May 2, 2012
by Michael Haggerson

Richard Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur of the occupied Palestinian territory, said Wednesday that he is "appalled" by "continuing human rights violations in Israeli prisons." Israeli prison authorities have taken punitive measures against the more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners who began a hunger strike on April 17 in protest of their treatment. Falk called for …

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by Brandon Gatto

Syrian government forces committed war crimes when they killed at least 95 civilians and destroyed hundreds of houses during a two-week offensive in the province of Idlib during ceasefire negotiations, Human Rights Watch reported Wednesday. The report, titled "They Burned My Heart": War Crimes in Northern Idlib during Peace Plan Negotiations, documents various extrajudicial …

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by Michael Haggerson

The Tennessee House of Representatives has passed a bill that augments the state's abstinence-only sex education curriculum to allow parents to sue school teachers or organizations that promote "gateway sexual activity." The bill went to the governor for consideration on Tuesday. The bill defines "gateway sexual activity" as "sexual contact encouraging an …

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by Brandon Gatto

A blind Chinese legal activist who sought sought safety from local officials by holing up in the US Embassy in Beijing emerged on Wednesday after six days of self-confinement. The activist, Chen Guangcheng, was originally wanted in his rural town for exposing forced abortions and other human rights abuses but escaped last …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

Kosovo politician and parliamentarian Fatmir Limaj was acquitted Wednesday on charges of war crimes allegedly committed during the 1998-99 Kosovo war with Serbia. Limaj allegedly ordered the torture and killings of Serbian detainees in 1999. He and three co-defendants were tried and acquitted before a panel of …

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by Julia Zebley

Chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Serge Brammertz told reporters Wednesday that he believes former commander of the Bosnian Serb Army Ratko Mladic is mentally and physically fit to stand trial next month. The ICTY ordered a medical exam of Mladic …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal on Tuesday signed two pieces of legislation barring late-term abortions and assisted suicide, respectively. HB 954 bans most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, based on studies suggesting a fetus can begin to feel pain at that point in development. It creates exceptions for when …

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