Legal news from Friday, March 9, 2007
17:03 EDT

[JURIST] A Swiss court Friday convicted Turkish Workers Party [party website] leader Dogu Perincek [personal website] for denying that the mass killings of 1.5 million Armenians [ANI backgrounder] during World War I constituted genocide [JURIST news archive]. The Swiss canton of Vaud [official website], where Perincek made the denial in [read more]

16:03 EDT

[JURIST] US military hearings on whether 14 top terror suspects [DNI profile, PDF] formerly held in CIA secret prisons [JURIST report] qualify as "enemy combatants" [CFR backgrounder] began Friday at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs) [DOD backgrounder] will determine the status of Abu Zubaydah [BBC [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Cambodian government uses systematic human rights and civil liberty violations to maintain its hold on power, according to a report by UN special rights representative Yash Ghai [appointment notice] and obtained by AFP. The report listed illegal land grabs, torture while in police custody, corruption among senior government [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] Ugandan judges Friday agreed to call off a strike after President Yoweri Museveni [BBC profile] wrote a letter to the judiciary, expressing regret for a March 1 siege of the Ugandan High Court [Reuters report]. The judges went on strike [JURIST report] Monday to protest the incident, in which [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US DC Circuit Court of Appeals [official website] Friday invoked the Second Amendment to reverse a lower court ruling and strike down [opinion, PDF] a three-decades old ban on individuals in the District of Columbia having handguns in their homes. The 2-1 ruling is likely to be appealed [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge in Argentina [JURIST news archive] Thursday ordered former president Reynaldo Bignone [Wikipedia profile] arrested for his alleged role in disappearances and human rights abuses during Argentina's 1976-83 "Dirty War"[GlobalSecurity backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. Judge Alberto Suarez Araujo ordered Bignone's arrest as part of an investigation into [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] Flights carrying illegal workers caught in a federal raid in New Bedford, Massachusetts to a deportation holding facility in Texas were delayed Thursday after Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick [official website] asked federal authorities to stop the flights until the workers' children could be accounted for [press release]. The US [read more]

11:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Bangladeshi interim government issued a complete ban on political activities late Thursday, stating that "the government will take stern action against anyone who breaches" the order. The announcement, issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, expands the January 11 state of emergency [JURIST report] order by President Iajuddin [read more]

11:03 EDT

[JURIST] Bolivian President Evo Morales [official website, Spanish; BBC profile] told reporters Friday that his government has a desire to "renounce the recourse to war under the Republic of Bolivia's new constitution." Morales made the remarks following a meeting in Tokyo with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe [official website; BBC [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf [official website; BBC profile] suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry [profile] Friday "after receiving numerous complaints and serious allegations for misconduct, misuse of authority and actions prejudicial to the dignity of office of the Chief Justice of Pakistan." Musharraf has directed the Supreme Judicial Council [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] Portugal's parliament, the Assembly of the Republic [official website, Portuguese], loosened Portugal's strict abortion law [text, Portuguese; JURIST news archive] Thursday to allow abortions in the first 10-weeks of pregnancy. The legislation still requires the endorsement of President Anibal Cavaco Silva [official profile] to come into effect. In February, [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] Britain's most senior judge assailed recent government sentencing guidelines in a speech [PDF] Thursday, warning that minimums set in 2003 threatened to eventually fill up the country's prisons with "geriatric lifers" and would have negative consequences for years to come. Speaking at Birmingham University, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] Six foreign medics sentenced to death in Libya [JURIST news archive] will not be executed, according to Libyan Secretary of the Foreign Affairs Committee [official website, in Arabic] Suleiman Shahoumi, quoted by Bulgarian media. In December, a Libyan court found five Bulgarian nurses and one Palestinian doctor found guilty [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] A US Department of Justice review of the FBI's use of so-called national security letters (NSLs) [FAS backgrounder; example, PDF] and ex parte orders for business records criticizes the Bureau for ineffective management, monitoring and reporting of the programs. The DOJ Office of the Inspector General (OIG) conducted the [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner Louise Arbour marked International Women's Day [official website] Thursday with a stark message [text] on violence against women [factsheet 1, 2, DOC], urging an end to impunity for what was paradoxically the "most common but least punished crime in the world" in an environment where "most [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told senators in a private meeting Thursday that the Bush administration would drop its objection to proposed legislation requiring Senate confirmation of all US Attorneys, reversing a rule change approved a year ago in the Patriot Act reauthorization [JURIST report; HR 3199 text, PDF] [read more]

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