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Legal news from Thursday, March 28, 2013
by Andrew Morgan

It's been a great month of fundraising, and we've been encouraged by the support we've received from you, our loyal readers. But, with only three days left in the Spring 2013 Fundraising Drive, we're still well short of raising the funds we need to keep bringing you the high-quality legal news and commentary you've come to expect from …

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by Laura Klein Mullen

Human Rights Watch (HRW), on Thursday called on the government of Sri Lanka to begin its investigation into war crimes by examining the role of its own Deputy Minister of Resettlement. HRW alleged that Deputy Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, known as Colonel Karuna, is a former leader of the the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which …

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by Keith Herting

The Canadian government announced Wednesday that it is withdrawing from a UN convention intended to fight droughts in Africa. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper claimed the move was necessary as the convention was "too bureaucratic" and that only one fifth of the CAN $350,000 contributed to the convention actually was used for programming. Canada becomes …

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by Brandon Gatto

Human rights lawyers on Tuesday filed an emergency motion in the US District Court for the District of Columbia alleging that guards at Guantanamo Bay have denied drinking water and sufficient clothing to a Yemeni prisoner. The motion was filed only a day before a fact-finding visit to the US detention center in …

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by Sydney Normil

A Thai court on Thursday sentenced 37-year-old Akachai Hongkangwan to three years and four months in prison for violating Thailand's lese majeste law. The lese majeste law found in Article 112 of Thailand's Penal Code allows for anyone who "defames, insults or threatens" a member of the royal family to be sentenced to a prison term of three …

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by Daniel Mullen

An appeals court in Bahrain on Thursday vacated convictions for 21 medics who were arrested at a hospital during anti-government protests in 2011. The group of medics were originally charged with taking part in unauthorized demonstrations after treating protesters who were injured by police and have alleged that they were tortured and coerced into …

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by Lauren Laing

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled Wednesday that police cannot use general search warrants to acquire text messages from a service provider's database. In a 5-2 decision, the court found that text messages are private communications and cannot be intercepted by police without special wiretap authorization under Part VI of the Criminal Code. Under the …

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by Elizabeth LaForgia

The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions Christof Heyns on Monday urged the Indonesian government to restrict the use of capital punishment to comply with their international human rights obligations. On March 14, Malawian national Adami Wilson was executed by firing squad after being convicted on drug smuggling charges. According to the UN, an execution for …

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by Andrew Morgan

As I'm sure you're aware by now, we're nearing the end of our Spring 2013 Fundraising Drive. Although we've only got 3 and half days left, we're still well short of our goal. So, if you can afford as little as $10 to support JURIST's mission to document law and empower people, we would greatly appreciate it. But, …

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by Sung Un Kim

Russia, pursuant to its attempt to crack down on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) within its borders, on Wednesday raided the Moscow headquarters of Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Transparency International. The most recent seizure came two days after the government raided the local office of Amnesty International (AI). The raids are based …

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by Matthew Pomy

Judge Katherine Forrest of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on Wednesday denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a pension plan against JPMorgan Chase (JPM). The lawsuit alleges that JPM engaged in risky business practices in investing in Lehman Brothers in a way that …

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by Julia Zebley

The US Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday in Millbrook v. US that the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) [28 USC § 1346] and exceptions [28 USC § 2680(h)] to it, waive the immunity of prison guards who commit intentional torts that are within the scope of their authority. The text of 28 USC …

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by Blake Lynch

Bahrain lawyer Jassim Sarhan confirmed Tuesday that 13 pro-democracy activists were sentenced to 10 years in jail. The sentences arise from attacks by the activists on police officers during recent protests. The activists are among dozens convicted of playing a role in the uprising. This sentence comes in the middle of a hunger strike commenced …

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by Jerry Votava

The US Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in Comcast v. Behrend that judges can reach the merits of an underlying claim in determining whether to certify a class under Rule 23(b). In doing so, the court reversed the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit which refused to …

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by Addison Morris

Judges for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on Wednesday sentenced two former Bosnian Serb police officers each to 22 years in prison for war crimes and crimes against humanity during the war that spanned from 1992-95. Former interior minister, Mico Stanisic, and Stojan Zupljanin, his subordinate, faced charges [JURIST …

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by Jerry Votava

Displaced people in Somalia face the risk of physical abuse and rape, according to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report released Wednesday. HRW noted that the threat of beatings and rape from internal security forces was significant and called for the practices to end. According to HRW, "Instead of finding a safe haven …

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