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Legal news from Wednesday, May 23, 2012
by Rebecca DiLeonardo

China's chengguan, a para-police organization charged with enforcing non-criminal administrative regulations, is abusing its power, Human Rights Watch reported Wednesday. The report indicated that although the chengguan are not authorized to arrest citizens or use excessive force, they frequently do both. In addition, HRW reported citizens have had their property illegally confiscated by …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

More than 40 Catholic dioceses and other Catholic institutions around the US filed suits on Monday against the Obama administration, alleging that certain employer insurance requirements issued by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) violate their right to religious freedom protected by the first amendment. The mandate in question was …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The Russian State Duma, the lower house of parliament, gave preliminary approval Tuesday to legislation that would create harsh penalties for participating in illegal protests. The bill, supported by Russian President Vladimir Putin, would impose fines up to USD $50,000 for organizers of demonstrations that become violent or exceed …

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by Sarah Posner

Six accused Somali pirates went on trial in a Paris court Tuesday for taking 30 crew members hostage in 2008 on the ship Le Ponant in the Gulf of Aden. The men could face life in prison if convicted of both kidnapping and theft as a result of seizing the luxury ship, which led to the ransom …

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by Sarah Posner

A Guatemalan judge ruled Monday that former dictator Efrain Rios Montt will have a second genocide trial for ordering a 1982 massacre which killed 201 people. Judge Carol Patricia Flores found enough evidence linking Rios Montt to Las Dos Erres massacre for another genocide trial. The massacre, which took place when about 20 soldiers were ordered …

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