Legal news from Tuesday, February 5, 2008
18:02 EDT

[JURIST] Myanmar [JURIST news archive] continues to arrest and detain human rights activists, denying them fair trials in accordance with international principles, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro [official profile; JURIST news archive] said Tuesday. In a statement [text], Pinheiro also expressed [read more]

18:02 EDT

[JURIST] A federal court of appeals judge struck down [ruling, PDF] a 2003 agreement between Georgia and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) [official website] allowing the state's use of a federal water reservoir. Judge Judith Rogers of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [read more]

17:02 EDT

[JURIST] Russian lawyer and government critic Boris Kuznetsov [ARLI profile] applied for political asylum in the US Tuesday. Kuznetsov fled Russia in July 2007 after a court approved a criminal investigation against him for allegedly divulging state wiretapping secrets by turning over evidence to the Russian Constitutional Court [official website, [read more]

17:02 EDT

[JURIST] Retired Argentine General Cristino Nicolaides and five other former officers stood trial Tuesday for their alleged role in the abduction and torture of five political dissidents during the country's military dictatorship of the late 1970s and 80s. In December 2007, Nicolaides was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] The CIA has used waterboarding [JURIST news archive] "on only three detainees" since September 11, 2001, CIA Director Michael Hayden [official profile] told the US Senate Intelligence Committee [official website] Tuesday. Stipulating that the interrogation technique has not been used by the CIA in five years, Hayden for the [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] US President George W. Bush will veto any terror surveillance legislation passed by Congress that does not include liability protection for telecom companies, a letter from Attorney General Michael Mukasey and National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell warned Congress Tuesday, according to AP. Last week, Bush signed a 15-day extension [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] Uzbekistan [JURIST news archive] authorities have granted a pardon to a journalist and Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy group] translator sentenced to prison, according to Tuesday reports. Umida Niyazova [CPJ profile] was sentenced to seven years [JURIST report] after an Uzbek court convicted her last May of illegal border [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Russian Supreme Court [official website, in Russian] Tuesday rejected the appeal of former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov [personal website, in Russian; BBC profile] to reinstate his candidacy in the March Russian presidential election. Last week, the Russian Central Election Commission banned Kasyanov from running in the election [JURIST [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] A defense lawyer representing four ex-officers of the former Rwandan army facing trials before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] has accused Prosecutor Hassan Jallow [ICTR profile] of concealing evidence favorable to the defense, according to Monday media reports. Lawyer Christopher Black claims Jallow possesses witness [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official website] Tuesday urged the Chadian government and rebel forces to follow humanitarian law and respect human rights [statement] as fighting continued for a fourth day after rebels entered the capital city of N'Djamena in an attempt to overthrow Chadian President [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] Private government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) [advocacy website] Tuesday urged US Attorney General Michael Mukasey [official website] to appoint a special counsel to investigate whether the White House had violated the Federal Records Act and the Presidential Records Act [texts] in failing to [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] US Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Monday criticized a provision in the Bush administration's proposed $3 trillion FY09 budget [White House materials] that would fund the newly created Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) through the Department of Justice (DOJ) rather than through [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Chinese government on Tuesday announced the release on parole of Hong Kong reporter Ching Cheong [advocacy website; JURIST news archive] ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year. Ching, sentenced to five years in prison [JURIST report] in 2006 for allegedly selling "state secrets and intelligence" to Taiwan [BBC [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai [official website; BBC profile] is concerned about the imposition of the death penalty against journalism student Sayad Parwez Kambaksh but will not intervene in the case pending Kambaksh's appeal, a presidential spokesman said Tuesday. Under Article 64 of the Afghanistan Constitution [text], Afghanistan's president may [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge on Monday upheld a jury verdict [opinion, PDF] finding Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church [WARNING: readers may find some material offensive; BBC report] guilty of intentional infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy for staging a protest at the funeral of Lance Cpl. [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] A Chinese court convicted dissident writer Lu Gengsong on subversion charges Tuesday, sentencing Lu to four years in prison for writing essays exposing corruption within the Communist Party of China (CPC) [official backgrounder]. Lu was arrested last October and charged [JURIST reports] in January with "inciting subversion of state [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] A federal district court on Monday rejected the Bush administration's attempt to exempt the US Navy from environmental laws [JURIST report] so that the Navy could continue using sonar in its anti-submarine warfare training off the coast of southern California. Last month, President Bush issued a memorandum [text] exempting [read more]

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