International brief ~ India high court gives perjury jail sentence in anti-Muslim riots case
D. Wes Rist at 9:16 AM ET
[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's international brief, the Supreme Court of India [official website] has exercised a rarely used power and sentenced Zahira Sheikh for deliberately retracting her testimony concerning the arson of the Best Bakery [Wikipedia backgrounder] in the state of Gujarat during riots anti-Muslim riots by Hindu civilians that resulted in dozens of deaths. Sheikh's sentence is a rare use of actual incarceration to punish perjury, and is seen as a criticism of the Gujarat State government [official website] as well for its lack of control over the situation. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of India [JURIST news archive]. Calcutta's The Telegraph has local coverage.
In other international legal news ...
- International NGO Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] released a statement [text] Thursday calling on the leaders of African nations to push for the acceptance of a UN peacekeeping force in the Darfur region [JURIST news archive] of Sudan at the African foreign ministers meeting scheduled for Friday. The African Union [official website] has agreed in principle to the need for UN peacekeepers, but has not taken any official steps to request the transition from a solely AU-run mission to one under the auspices of the UN. Sudan [government website] has repeatedly opposed [JURIST report] the push for UN leadership in Darfur as a "new imperialism" against an African nation. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Sudan [JURIST news archive]. The Sudan Tribune has local coverage.
- Domestic human rights activists in Nepal [government website] have warned that unless King Gyanendra takes serious steps to re-establish human rights as a priority in Nepal, they will recommend that the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights [official website] impose an "Agenda 9" status against Nepal at its next meeting. Agenda 9 is a designation given to a country by the UN Commission on Human Rights (CHR) [official website] when that country is deemed to be experiencing a "very critical situation" relating to human rights. CHR findings are non-binding however, and would have no required impact on Nepal other than international condemnation for a poor human rights record. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Nepal [JURIST news archive]. NepalNews.com has local coverage.
- Indonesia's Chief Prosecutor in Jakarta, Rusdi Taher, admitted on Wednesday that the Jakarta Prosecutor's Office is severely backed up on cases resulting from the national anti-corruption drive, with only two out of 2,000 cases in the last six years reaching trial. Taher pointed to a distinct lack of manpower, the complexity of financial and accounting details in corruption cases, and the lack of cooperation from high profile political, business, and social figures to testify as reason for the back-up. Indonesia has been working to redeem itself from its reputation as one of the most corrupt Asian nations. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Indonesia [JURIST news archive]. The Jakarta Post has local coverage.
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