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Legal news from Wednesday, July 11, 2012
by Dan Taglioli

A human rights group report was released on Wednesday documenting 81 instances of sexual assault and rape in Syria since anti-government demonstrations began in March 2011. Women Under Siege, a project of the Women's Media Center, has been collecting reports of sexualized violence in Syria for several months, creating a crowd-sourced map of independently confirmed attacks. …

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by Sung Un Kim

The National Association of Broadcasters on Tuesday filed an emergency motion with the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit challenging a new regulation that is expected to go into effect in August. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted the new rule [77 Fed. Reg. 27631, PDF] in …

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by Dan Taglioli

A non-profit United Nations watch group released a report last month criticizing the UN's lack of a comprehensive internal security policy in the face of its own increased reliance on private military and security companies (PMSCs). In producing Dangerous Partnership: Private Military & Security Companies and the UN the Global Policy Forum [advocacy website; press …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Microsoft Inc. and Motorola on Tuesday filed a joint motion in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington asking the court to suspend three patent cases between the parties until a trial is held on a licensing disagreement. Microsoft filed suit against Motorola, which is now owned by Google in …

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by Dan Taglioli

The Ivory Coast justice ministry announced Tuesday that two allies of former president Laurent Gbagbo have been charged with genocide relating to the months of post-election violence that followed Gbagbo's refusal to step down after his defeat in the November 2010 elections. Genevieve Bro-Grebe, leader of the pro-Gbagbo …

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by Sung Un Kim

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Wednesday announced plans to replace the 1948 Sedition Act with the new National Harmony Act. The prime minister stated that the new act will ensure the protection of the right to freedom of speech while balancing national unity and preventing hatred based on different religious views. The …

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by Sung Un Kim

The Trial Chamber of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) on Wednesday upheld the decision to try four accused assassins of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri in absentia. The Chamber rejected the defense motion that challenged the legality and jurisdiction of the Tribunal over the case. The …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Migrants residing in Greece face a rising culture of discrimination and violence, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report on Wednesday. The report, entitled "Hate on the Streets: Xenophobic Violence in Greece," documents instances of abuse and discrimination against migrants who traveled Greece seeking refuge from war-torn homelands. The report notes that …

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by Dan Taglioli

Members of the US House of Representatives on Tuesday filed an amicus brief with the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit regarding the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denies federal recognition of same-sex marriages. The brief was submitted by 132 …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Amnesty International (AI) and three other rights groups on Wednesday urged the UN Security Council to renew the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), which is scheduled to end on July 20. In an open letter to the Security Council, the rights groups said that human rights abuses in the country are on …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on Wednesday said that press freedom in the Maldives has been deteriorating since the resignation of former president Mohamed Nasheed. Nasheed, who was the first democratically elected presdient of the Maldives, has claimed that he was forced from office in a coup, but current President Mohamed Waheed Hassan [official …

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by Dan Taglioli

A confirmed al Qaeda member and Osama bin Laden associate was released from Guantanamo Bay and returned to his native Sudan on Wednesday after more than a decade of detention. Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud al Qosi, 50, was released under the terms of a 2010 plea arrangement …

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by Sung Un Kim

The National Assembly of Pakistan on Monday approved a bill that would shield senior officials from contempt of court proceedings. The move by the lower house of the country's parliament is seen as an attempt to exempt the new prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf from a possible upcoming contempt of court proceeding for failure to …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) came together on Wednesday to urge the Sudanese government to end the detention and abuse of protesters in Sudan. In a press release, the two groups estimated that Sudanese security forces have detained more than 2,000 peaceful protesters since June. The groups said that the majority of …

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by Dan Taglioli

A US citizen was released from a Thai prison Tuesday on a royal pardon that commuted a two-and-a-half-year sentence for defaming the Thai royal family. Thai-born Joe Gordon (Thai name Lerpong Wichaikhammat), 55, is a Colorado used-car salesman who was arrested last May while vacationing in Thailand because several years earlier he had translated and posted online …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The Russian State Duma on Wednesday approved the third reading of a controversial Internet regulation bill. The bill, which gives the Russian government the ability to completely block access to certain websites, is described by its authors as a means of protecting children from harmful content. Opponents fear, however, that the …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The Maryland Board of Elections on Tuesday officially certified a referendum petition seeking to challenge the state's new same-sex marriage law in the upcoming election. In a letter, the Board of Elections stated that the office had confirmed 122,481 signatures in support of the petition, a count that is well over …

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by Michael Haggerson

The Constitutional Court of Romania stated on Tuesday that at least 50 percent of the electorate must turn out for the July 29 national referendum to decide whether President Traian Basescu should be ousted from the presidency. If less than 50 percent of the electorate turns out for the referendum, then …

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