[JURIST] A US Department of Justice lawyer has informed lawyers representing some 40 detainees at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST report] that they will no longer be able to visit with or send written communications to their clients. DOJ lawyer Andrew I. Warden sent an e-mail to the detainees' counsel Friday, referencing a court ruling [CCR press release] issued by US District Judge Ricardo Urbina last week. Urbina dismissed 16 habeas corpus challenges brought on behalf of at least 40 detainees and in doing so also rendered invalid protocols that had been established governing lawyers' access to detainees. The DOJ has put in place a series of steps for attorneys wishing to resume contact with detainees, but one detainee lawyer, Wells Dixon, called the measures "the latest example of the government's efforts to frustrate counsel access to detainees."
[JURIST] A German Justice Ministry official said Saturday that US officials have confirmed that there are no plans to extradite 13 CIA agents wanted in Germany on suspicion of playing a role in the alleged 2003 kidnapping and extraordinary rendition of German national Khalid el-Masri [JURIST news archive]. German prosecutors said in June they would seek extradition [JURIST report] of the agents, but a German Justice Ministry spokesperson told Der Spiegel that after being informed by the Bush administration that the extradition request would be denied, German officials have decided not to press a formal request.
El-Masri alleges that CIA agents kidnapped him while on vacation in Macedonia in 2003 and transferred him to Afghanistan, where he was held in a secret prison for five months and subjected to inhumane conditions and coercive interrogation. He was released in Albania in 2004 without apology or funds to return to Germany. El-Masri sued [ACLU materials] various CIA officials in 2005, arguing that they violated international human rights law in his rendition to Afghanistan. A US federal appeals court upheld [JURIST report] the dismissal of that lawsuit in March 2007, ruling that the case could not be heard in a US court because of the state secrets privilege [Sourcewatch backgrounder]. AP has more.
[JURIST] Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori [personal website; JURIST news archive] was extradited to Peru Saturday following the Supreme Court of Chile's decision [JURIST report] Friday that Fujimori should be extradited on human rights and corruption charges. Fujimori is accused of approving death squad killings and misusing government funds in Peru.
[JURIST] The UN General Assembly [official website] agreed by consensus Friday to accept a committee recommendation that Taiwan's latest bid for UN membership [JURIST reports] be rejected. Taiwan, which officially refers to itself as the Republic of China, was kicked out of the UN in 1971 by General Assembly Resolution 2758 [PDF text] and replaced by the People's Republic of China as the representative of China. This is the 15th straight year that Taiwan's application for UN membership has been rejected.
Earlier in the week, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon agreed to allow the General Assembly to consider Taiwan's application, but also said [transcript] that the UN Secretariat had determined that "it was not legally possible to receive the purported application for membership" because of the 1971 resolution. Taiwan is currently proceeding with a national referendum [JURIST report] on the subject of its membership in the United Nations despite opposition from China. China has threatened to invade Taiwan if it ever formally declared independence. AP has more.
[JURIST] Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell on Friday ordered [press release] the Connecticut Board of Pardons and Paroles [official website] "to immediately suspend approval of future parole for any inmate serving a sentence involving a violent offense." Rell said her decision was based on several recent incidents where parolees have been accused in violent crimes. The new policy "will remain in place until reforms of the parole process are complete."
In addition to banning future parole for violent offenders, Rell also directed the Pardon and Parole Board to review the status of violent offenders currently out on parole; any offender found to be in violation of the terms of their parole will be required to serve the remainder of their sentence. In her announcement, Rell said:
Parole is a privilege, not a right: It must be earned and it must be retained. Until we can find a better way to determine who poses a risk to the public if released, we will not add to the ranks of people on parole.
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