Legal news from Wednesday, May 2, 2012

[JURIST] Richard Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur of the occupied Palestinian territory [official website], said Wednesday that he is "appalled" [press release] 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 … [read more]

[JURIST] Syrian government forces committed war crimes [press release] 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 [advocacy website] reported Wednesday. The report, titled "They Burned My Heart": War Crimes in … [read more]

[JURIST] The Tennessee House of Representatives [official website] has passed a bill [HB 3621, PDF; bill summary] 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 … [read more]

[JURIST] 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 [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], was originally wanted in his rural town for exposing forced abortions … [read more]

[JURIST] Kosovo politician and parliamentarian Fatmir Limaj [JURIST news archive] was acquitted [verdict, PDF] Wednesday on charges of war crimes allegedly committed during the 1998-99 Kosovo war with Serbia [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. Limaj allegedly ordered the torture and killings of Serbian detainees in 1999. He and three co-defendants … [read more]

[JURIST] Chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] Serge Brammertz [official profile] told reporters Wednesday that he believes former commander of the Bosnian Serb Army Ratko Mladic [ICTY case materials; JURIST news archive] is mentally and physically fit to stand trial next month. … [read more]

[JURIST] Georgia Governor Nathan Deal [official website] on Tuesday signed two pieces of legislation [press release] barring late-term abortions [JURIST backgrounder] and assisted suicide [JURIST news archive], respectively. HB 954 [materials] bans most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, based on studies suggesting a fetus can begin to feel pain … [read more]

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