January 2, 2012
by John Paul Putney
Fiji's military ruler, Commodore Josaia Voreqe "Frank" Bainimarama announced Sunday that the nation's state of emergency laws will be lifted this week to facilitate a nationwide consultation process for a new constitution. The announcement was cautiously welcomed by longtime regional critics, ...[read more]
December 30, 2011
by John Paul Putney
The Indian upper house of parliament, the Rajya Sabha, on Thursday failed to pass an anti-corruption bill that proposed the creation of an official anti-corruption agency known as Lokpal. The upper house met in an extended session of parliament intended to allow for passage of the Lokpal bill, ...[read more]
December 30, 2011
by John Paul Putney
Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Court on Wednesday sentenced opposition figure and former Iranian foreign minister Ebrahim Yazdi to eight years in prison for attempting to act against national security. Yazdi was also banned from civic activities for five years in the closed-door trial reportedly ...[read more]
December 29, 2011
by John Paul Putney
Chinese housing activist and lawyer, Ni Yulan, and her husband, Dong Jiqin, went on trial Thursday on charges of fraud and "inciting a disturbance" in Beijing. Lying on a stretcher and relying on an oxygen machine, Ni pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud for falsifying facts to steal property ...[read more]
December 29, 2011
by John Paul Putney
The Obama administration, arguing as amicus curiae in Perry, et al. v. Perez, et al., pressed the US Supreme Court on Wednesday to reject a redistricting map drawn by the Texas legislature which was not cleared pursuant to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). In its stead, the administration ...[read more]
December 21, 2011
by John Paul Putney
The Russia Presidential Council on Civil Society and Human Rights under President Dmitry Medvedev called for the prosecutor general to petition to annul the conviction of ex-oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky in a report released Wednesday. The council found fundamental violations in the ...[read more]
December 21, 2011
by John Paul Putney
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Wednesday sentenced former Rwandan political party leaders, Matthieu Ngirumpatse and Edouard Karemera, to life in prison for their role in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. The court was unanimous in condemning Ngirumpatse, who was the chairman of... ...[read more]
December 9, 2011
by John Paul Putney
UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Rights, James Anaya, on Thursday urged Argentina to strengthen protection of human rights, rights to education and land ownership for indigenous groups as well as to establish sorely needed dialogue with government. His comments came after an 11-day visit to ...[read more]
December 9, 2011
by John Paul Putney
Former Serbian general and alleged war criminal Ratko Mladic, after previously refusing to enter a plea in any of the charges against him, pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges linked to the execution of more than 30 Muslim prisoners in the eastern town of Bisina in July 1995. The presiding ...[read more]
December 8, 2011
by John Paul Putney
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Tuesday that the US will use foreign assistance, international diplomacy and political asylum to promote gay rights. The secretary's remarks before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva were in tandem with an executive memo from US President Barack ...[read more]

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