World Legal News Round Up for Saturday, 28 October 2017

World Legal News Round Up for Saturday, 28 October 2017

Here’s the international legal news we covered this week:

[JURIST] The US Department of Treasury [official website] Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed sanctions [text] on seven individuals and three organizations for human rights abuses in connection with the US State Department‘s [official website] “Report [text] on Human Rights Abuses and Censorship in North Korea.”

The State Department’s report heavily focused on the activities of the North Korea military and characterized the human rights abuses by the country’s regime as some of the worst in the world [press release] that included “extrajudicial killings, forced labor, torture, prolonged arbitrary detention, as well as rape, forced abortions, and other sexual violence inside the country.”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin [official profile] expressed [press release] concern over North Korea’s serious violations of human rights:

We are especially concerned with the North Korean military, which operates as secret police, punishing all forms of dissent.

The Supreme Court of Kenya [official website] ruled [text, PDF] Wednesday that it was unable to hear a case in which the petitioners are seeking to delay [BBC report] the upcoming presidential election.

The court was unable to hear the case because it did not have the required quorum of justices present.

Russia on Tuesday vetoed [press release] the UN Security Council’s resolution [press release] to extend the UN Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapon (OPCW) [official website] investigation into the Syria chemical-weapons attack.

In February Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] reported [JURIST report] that the Syrian government conducted “coordinated chemical attacks” on rebel-controlled portions of Aleppo.

[JURIST] The Communist Party of China amended their constitution [text] Tuesday to add a section titled “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.” The party’s “absolute” leadership over the military, the fight against corruption, Xi’s “Belt and Road” development initiative, supply-side reforms, and market forces in resource were also addressed [Xinhua report] in the amendments.

The party’s constitution [USC backgrounder] is separate from China’s national Constitution.

Quebec Minister of Justice and Attorney General Stéphanie Vallée on Tuesday released guidelines [text, PDF, in French] for the implementation of Bill 62 [text, PDF, in French], legislation requiring those who wear face veils to remove them when using public services.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Monday urged French President Emmanuel Macron to raise human rights abuse [HRW report]s during a meeting with Egyptian President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi in Paris on Tuesday.
The UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) [official website] on Monday denounced [press release] the arrest of 30 opposition party members as part of a crackdown by President Joseph Kabila’s [BBC profile] government.
Human rights groups and nongovernmental organizations sent a letter [text] on Monday to Greece Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras urging him to end the “containment” of asylum seekers in island camp, which violates human rights, and transfer them to the mainland to provide adequate human needs and hear their asylum applications.

More than 13,000 people are living in five camps on Greek islands as “checkpoints” until their asylum applications are processed permitted access to the mainland.

According to the organizations, the islands are “place of indefinite confinement” and the conditions are “abysmal.” They also state that “reception conditions are deteriorating, and gaps in basic services, especially medical, are increasing”, as thousands of people incoming cause overcrowding on the islands.

In May 2016 the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) [official website] expressed concern [JURIST report] over the poor living conditions of several refugee camps located in northern Greece, which lacked access to basic needs.

The deplorable conditions of the islands was labeled as “untenable” [JURIST report] by the European Commission [official website] in January as the islands was plagued with heavy snowfall.