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Legal news from Thursday, September 13, 2012
by Keith Herting

An independent expert on Wednesday urged the UN to become a more "equitable" and "democratic" body in its relationship with individual nations and its application of international law. Speaking before the UN Human Rights Council, the recently appointed UN Independent Expert, Alfred de Zayas, made this request as he unveiled his first report on the …

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by Brandon Gatto

The US House of Representatives on Wedneday voted to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act of 2008 (FISA), a highly contested law designed as a national security protection against terrorism and other foreign threats. The law's Reauthorization Act of 2012 renews 2008 revisions which call for special government programs, such as the …

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by Keith Herting

The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on Wednesday refused to reconsider a decision to deny a posthumous appeal to restore the citizenship of convicted Nazi guard John Demjanjuk. Demjanjuk, a retired Ohio autoworker convicted of being an accessory to over 28,000 murders as a guard at a Nazi extermination …

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by Brandon Gatto

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Thursday told a special session of the Human Rights Council that 16 nations have failed to prevent members of their own governments from intimidating and attacking activists and protesters. Based on a UN report not yet released to the public, she noted that …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The US House Committee on Foreign Affairs on Wednesday held a hearing to discuss the Chinese government's practice of harvesting organs from executed inmates. The hearing included testimony by three witnesses supporting allegations that the government has deliberately executed political prisoners for the purpose of transplanting their organs. Representative Chris Smith said during the …

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by Max Slater

The trial chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) ruled Thursday that the sister-in-law of former Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot is not mentally competent to stand trial, ordering her release. The tribunal held that Ieng Thirith, the so-called "First Lady" of the Khmer Rouge, is mentally …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on Wednesday permanently enjoined a US law that allows authorities to detain certain suspects indefinitely if they are found to have aided al Qaeda, the Taliban or "associated forces." Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) affirms …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

The Missouri Senate and House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to override a veto Governor Jay Nixon of a bill that prohibits mandatory insurance coverage of birth control for anyone with ethical or religious objections. The Senate voted 26-6 to override the veto, while the House narrowly secured the required endorsements [press …

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by Jaimie Cremeans

A military judge ruled Monday that he lacks authority to allow media to broadcast the trial of accused USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahim Nashiri. Al-Nashiri's defense lawyers moved in July for the trial to be televised because there is a public interest in viewing the trial and seeing …

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by Jaimie Cremeans

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called Wednesday for the release of members of the rock band Pussy Riot, saying that time served has been severe enough and that anymore time in prison would be counterproductive. Medvedev also said, however, that he does not in any way condone …

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