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Legal news from Wednesday, August 15, 2012
by Max Slater

Amnesty International (AI) on Wednesday urged the government of Hungary to protect the nation's Roma communities from attacks. On August 5, violence erupted in the Hungarian village of Devecser when more than a thousand people gathered in the village square in a demonstration organized by the far-right Hungarian party Jobbik [party website, in …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Families of murdered Iranian nuclear scientists told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday that they have filed lawsuits against the US, UK and Israel for their governments' alleged involvements in the assassinations. The father of one of the scientists revealed that the families would ask Iran's judiciary to pursue their complaint internationally. At least five nuclear scientists have …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

A court in Hong Kong has begun the hearing challenging the election of Hong Kong's new leader Leung Chun-ying. Chairman of the Chinese Democratic Party Albert Ho filed two separate lawsuits last month seeking to overturn the election results, claiming that Leung made false and misleading statements during the election. Leung, …

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by Max Slater

A judge in Brazil ruled on Tuesday that construction on the Belo Monte Dam must stop until local indigenous communities are allowed to voice their opinions on the environmental impact of the dam. The Brazilian government declared that the dam would help make Brazil more self-sufficient in energy. However, many environmental and indigenous rights groups have condemned …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

A three-judge panel for the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on Wednesday ordered a lower court to reconsider its decision ordering Florida's Dixie County Courthouse to remove a Ten Commandments monument from its front steps. A federal judge last year ordered the monument to be removed, finding that if …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Former president of Argentina Fernando de la Rua faced trial on Tuesday on bribery charges associated with his term as president from 1999-2001. De la Rua is accused of bribing Senators for votes, including the payment of $5 million to senators in order to reduce legal protections for Argentine workers. A panel of judges already …

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by Max Slater

Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged the government of Ethiopia on Wednesday to release 17 prominent Muslim leaders who were arrested last month in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. HRW asserted that the Ethiopian government has used its anti-terrorism law [Anti-Terrorism Proclamation of 2009, text] as a tool to crack down on dissent, particularly dissent amongst …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

A judge for the US District Court for the Central District of California on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit against the FBI alleging that it illegally directed its agents to spy on Muslim communities. Judge Cormac Carney dismissed the case after concluding that allowing the lawsuit to move forward would risk exposing important state secrets. The …

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by Max Slater

The High Court of Australia on Wednesday rejected a request by the nation of Hungary to extradite a Nazi war crimes suspect. The case concerned a man named Charles Zentai, an Australian citizen and Hungarian native who was accused, along with two other Hungarian soldiers, of beating a Jewish teenager in Hungary to …

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by Max Slater

A judge for the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court on Wednesday declined to issue an injunction to prevent the state's voter ID law from taking effect. The plaintiffs in the case are Pennsylvania residents who lack photo ID. They argued that HB 943 will disenfranchise a large number of voters and that Pennsylvania's rationale …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Syrian forces and their supporting Shabbiha fighters have committed "war crimes and gross violations of international human rights and humanitarian law," according to a report released Wednesday by the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry (COI). The report found that government and Shabbiha forces are responsible for instances of rape, murder, torture and attacks …

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by Max Slater

The High Court of Australia on Wednesday upheld a law that requires cigarette packages to display graphic images warning of the dangers of smoking and bans brand logos. The plaintiffs in the case were several tobacco companies which argued that the law in question, the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act unconstitutionally infringed upon their …

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by Brandon Gatto

Executive Director of Greenpeace International, Kumi Naidoo, on Tuesday called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to refrain from implementing a new law that labels rights groups that receive overseas funding as "foreign agents," a term often associated with "spies" in Russia. The law, already passed by both …

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