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Legal news from Thursday, August 23, 2012
by Dan Taglioli

The Russian Justice Ministry announced Thursday that it has filed a formal request with the US government for a copy of the verdict of reputed Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who in April was sentenced by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York to 25 years …

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by Max Slater

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, will face trial in September, according to Libyan prosecutors. Although the International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued a warrant for his arrest for crimes against humanity, the militiamen who captured Saif al-Islam are insisting that he be tried in Zintan, Libya, …

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by Dan Taglioli

The African Union (AU) and the government of Senegal on Wednesday signed an agreement creating a special tribunal in Dakar to try 69-year-old ex-Chadian dictator Hissene Habre for killing and torturing thousands of political opponents during his reign from 1982 to 1990. The agreement calls for "Extraordinary African Chambers" to be created inside …

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by Max Slater

South Korea's Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday that the nation's 59-year-old ban on abortions is constitutional. The eight-judge panel was deadlocked 4-4 in deciding whether to uphold the abortion ban, but six votes were needed to overturn it. South Korea banned abortions in 1953 with exceptions for rape, incest and severe genetic disorders. …

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by Max Slater

The American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri (ACLU) filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri on Wednesday challenging the constitutionality of a Missouri law that makes it a crime to disturb a worship service. The ACLU contends that the law in question, the …

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by Dan Taglioli

A Bahraini appeals court on Thursday overturned a conviction of prominent human rights activist Nabeel Rajab. Bahrain's government attributed the ruling to "uncertainty regarding the evidence submitted to support the lawsuit." Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, was arrested in June and has served half of a three-month sentence …

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by Dan Taglioli

The South Korean Constitutional Court on Thursday nullified a 2007 regulation that required South Koreans to use their real names in Internet forums. Under the terms of the regulation online discussion participants had to pass a verification process in order to express their opinions on most websites. The nine-justice court held that the Real Name …

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by Max Slater

A panel of UN human rights experts on Tuesday urged Chile to make sure that people who have been convicted of enforced disappearances serve their sentences. The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) stated that while Chile has made great strides since it transitioned to democracy, many …

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by Max Slater

Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged the government of Thailand on Thursday to order its army chief to stop obstructing investigations into political violence in 2010 arising from anti-government protests. Last week the army chief, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, told the Thai Ministry of Justice to stop accusing soldiers of …

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by Max Slater

A gay rights group urged [cert. petition, PDF] the US Supreme Court on Tuesday to review a provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that denies benefits to married same-sex couples. The Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) specifically challenged Section 3 of DOMA, which restricts tax, health care …

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