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Legal news from Tuesday, February 16, 2016
by Brittany Felder

The Pakistani province of Sindh on Monday became the first province to legalize Hindu marriage under the marriage registry in the nation. Under the new law, Hindus over the age of 18 can register their marriages and the law will apply retroactively. Proponents of the new law argue [RFE/RL report] that it will help increase the safeguards …

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by Alonso Diaz

Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict released her annual report on Monday on the situation of children in conflict zones from December 2014 to 2015. She reports that children worldwide continually faced human rights violations and the effect of conflict was "unyielding" in places like the Central African Republic, Israel and the …

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by Taylor Isaac

A group of UN human rights experts on Monday urged Western Australia's Parliament to reject anti-protest legislation being debated Tuesday. Parliament members indicated that the goal of the bill was to prevent people from locking themselves onto objects that will prevent development sites. The UN Special Rapporteurs stated:The Bill would criminalise a wide range of legitimate conduct by …

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by Brittany Felder

UN human rights expert Michel Forst on Tuesday urged the Hungarian government to "stop stigmatising and intimidating human rights defenders." Forst said that defenders of human rights have been working in "polarised and politicised environment" and that there have been attempts to delegitimize the movement through criminal defamation and financial pressure. He also noted that …

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by Alonso Diaz

EU foreign ministers on Monday agreed to lift most of the EU's economic sanctions against Belarus, citing improvements [press release in the country's human rights record. The Council of the EU cited Belarus' participation in various organizations and negotiations including the EU-Belarus Human Rights Dialogue as steps to improving EU-Belarus relations and that it will not extend sanctions after suspending …

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by Taylor Isaac

Moroccan authorites' approach and response to domestic abuse is insufficient and "tepid" across the board, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a letter to the Moroccan government on Monday. The report cites a study done by HRW in September as well as a national survey by the Moroccan High Commission for Planning that studied female …

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by Alexandra Farone

Bahraini authorities arrested four US journalists covering the five-year anniversary of the nation's 2011 uprising and formally charged them on Tuesday. The journalists were charged with unlawful obstruction of vehicles and attending unlawful gatherings for their alleged participation in a riot that attacked police on Sunday. The public prosecutor announced that all four, journalist Anna Therese Day …

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by William Helbling

A UN human rights expert on Monday urged the UK and Sweden to accept the recent decision which determined that Julian Assange, founder of the controversial website WikiLeaks, has been arbitrarily detained since 2010. Assange was initially arrested in December 2010 following rape allegations in Sweden. Assange was placed on house arrest in the …

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by William Helbling

The UN rights office on Tuesday condemned Monday's airstrikes in Syria, which hit hospitals and schools in the region, saying they may constitute war crimes. The airstrikes resulted in 45 deaths and dozens of more injuries as missiles hit four hospitals and one school. Spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights …

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by Jacqueline Jones

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein on Tuesday expressed concern over China's recent crackdown on lawyers and activists. The commissioner stated that civil society workers should be protected by the state, not harassed. He stated that during their meeting in Geneva, China's response to his concerns indicate that they are confusing …

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