[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] called on Turkish police Sunday to use non-violent tactics with civilians [statement] protesting the renovation of a rare public green space in Istanbul. Police forces dispersed peaceful protests with tear gas, water canons and plastic bullets, triggering wider public protests across the country. The historic park has symbolic meaning to minority political parties, many of which claim that this was the first step in an unpopular regime plan to build over the park with a shopping mall. Sunday's events came as a result of informal critique by Turkish public officials, including President Abdullah Gul [BBC backgrounder], as the construction halted and restarted several times from May 27 to June 1 [BBC report]. Police forces routinely dispersed protesters in order to further the construction, sending at least one representative to the hospital for a heart attack. An adviser for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan [official website, in Turkish] denied the use of excessive force on Saturday and chastised the protesters. High Representative of the [European] Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton [official website] called for talks between the two sides.
[JURIST] The Illinois Senate [official website] on Friday approved a measure [materials] that permits residents to carry concealed guns. The approval of this bill follows a ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit [official website] that held [JURIST report] that Illinois' previous concealed carry prohibition was unconstitutional because the ban violated the Second Amendment [text]. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn [official website] has not announced whether he intends to sign the bill into law, but a deadline of June 9 [NYT report] has been established to pass a law permitting the carrying of concealed weapons. If the bill is signed into law, Illinois will join the other 49 states in approving some type of concealed weapon.
The bill is the latest development in the ongoing Second Amendment and gun control debate. In April the US Supreme Court [official website] declined to hear a challenge to a New York state gun law [JURIST report] requiring those who desire to carry a concealed handgun to show they have a special reason before they can obtain a license. In March Utah Governor Gary Herbert vetoed a bill [JURIST report] that would have allowed people to carry an unloaded, concealed gun without a permit. Also in March the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that Maryland can require concealed-carry handgun permit applicants to provide a "good and substantial reason" for wanting to carry a gun outside the home.
[JURIST] Egypt's highest court, the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) [official website], on Sunday held that the country's legislature and constitutional panel were illegally elected. While the constitutional panel has already dissolved, the legislature's upper house, the Shura Council [official website, in Arabic], will not be dissolved until the parliament's lower chamber is elected later this year or in early 2014. The legislature's lower chamber will be dissolved in June. Although the Shura Council is traditionally a consultative part of legislation, these recent changes will force [BBC article] it to become more actively engaged in the country's legislation.
This ruling is the latest episode stemming from the Egypt Revolution [JURIST backgrounder] in 2011. Last month Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court found provisions of the nation's revised parliament and election law invalid [JURIST report] under the Egyptian constitution. In April several Egyptian opposition groups filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] demanding the government open up the draft budget for public debate. Also in April Egypt's Justice Minister Ahmed Mekki resigned [JURIST report] in response to both supporters and opponents calling for his resignation.
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