The rebellion was in response to King Gyanedra's seizure of the government and dismissal of elected officials [JURIST report] in February 2005, which he said was in response to 13,000 deaths caused by the Maoist insurgency. The rebels have recently agreed to the new cabinet's call for peace talks. A cease-fire has been in effect since the reinstatement of democracy and the government agreed to drop terrorism charges against rebel leaders. AP has more.
In an interview with Serbian daily Blic [media website, in English], Serbia-Montenegro's foreign minister Vuk Draskovic [BBC profile] called for the dismissal of top security officials [AP report] after recent high-profile raids failed to deliver Mladic. Authorities have detained [JURIST report] ten of Mladic's possible contacts over the past few months, including his son, Darko. Reuters has more.
[JURIST] US President George W. Bush said Sunday that closing the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archives] is a possibility in the future depending on the US Supreme Court's decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld [Duke Law case backgrounder; JURIST report], which will determine the legality of military trials for Guantanamo detainees. The Court's decision on whether military commissions [JURIST news archive] for foreign terror suspects can proceed is expected by the end of June. In an interview [transcript] with German TV station ARD [media website, in German] that will be broadcast Sunday night, Bush said that he would like to close the prison and place the detainees on trial. Many human rights groups have criticized the US for inhumane treatment of Guantanamo detainees [HRW backgrounder] and the United Nations has called for the US to close Guantanamo [JURIST report], but the US government has in the past defended the facility [JURIST report]. Reuters has more.
In the UK, meanwhile, British Attorney General Lord Goldsmith [official profile] will take a strong stand against alleged abuse at Guantanamo and join other UK officials [JURIST report] in urging the US to close Guantanamo. Goldsmith is planning on speaking on the closure of Guantanamo at a global security conference at the Royal United Services Institute this week. US officials had previously discussed [JURIST report] the closure of Guantanamo with British officials. The Observer has local coverage.
[JURIST] Israeli police on Sunday evicted a group of Jewish settlers squatting in a Palestinian house in the West Bank city of Hebron, a region where Jewish settlement is no longer allowed. Three settler families left peacefully, but police scuffled with two dozen teenagers who initially refused to leave the house. 19 settlers were arrested. This evacuation, the first test of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert [BBC profile] since taking over office, may be indicative of Olmert's future actions involving the completion of Israel's security fence [IDF website] around Jerusalem and the West Bank. Olmert stressed Sunday that the government would take an uncompromising approach to any Jewish settlers who choose to break the law.
The settlers claimed the house had been purchased legally from a Palestinian family, but Palestinian groups denied their claims. The Israeli Supreme Court [official website] ordered the eviction of the settlers Thursday, pending review of the home's ownership. Reuters has more. Haaretz has local coverage.
[JURIST] Opposition lawmakers in Thailand [JURIST news archive] are planning lawsuits against the Thai Election Commission (EC) [official website] over last months troubled parliamentary election [BBC report]. Suthep Thuagsuban, secretary general of the Democrat Party [party website, in Thai; Wikipedia backgrounder], has said that he will file a criminal lawsuit against four EC members, alleging they violated election laws by helping members of certain political parties. The Democrat Party itself is also planning a separate lawsuit against the Election Commission.
[JURIST] Iranian lawmakers have sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan [official profile; BBC profile] threatening to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty [PDF text], which it signed in 1968, if "the U.N. Secretary General and other members of the U.N. Security Council fail in their crucial responsibility to resolve differences peacefully." The letter was read aloud on state-run radio on Sunday. Under Article 10 of the NPT:
Each Party shall in exercising its national sovereignty have the right to withdraw from the Treaty if it decides that extraordinary events, related to the subject matter of this Treaty, have jeopardized the supreme interests of its country. It shall give notice of such withdrawal to all other Parties to the Treaty and to the United Nations Security Council three months in advance. Such notice shall include a statement of the extraordinary events it regards as having jeopardized its supreme interests.
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