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Legal news from Tuesday, April 12, 2016
by Brittany Felder

The United Nations and African human rights experts urged the Nigerian government to "escalate efforts" to locate and rescue people abducted by Boko Haram. The experts also implored the governments to keep those whose family members have been abducted informed as to the progress of the efforts that have been employed to find the missing …

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by Justin Cosgrove

Texas urged the Supreme Court on Monday to alllow it's voter ID laws to remain in effect while under review by a federal appeals court. The Court is considering a plea by a group in Veasey v. Abbott to block enforcement of the law while the case is being heard in the …

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by Justin Cosgrove

A bill in Tennessee that will allow mental health counselors to turn away patients based on the counselors' religious beliefs passed on Monday. In February the Senate passed the bill that allowed counselors to turn away patients based on "sincerely held religious beliefs." The Tennessee State House of Representatives passed the bill …

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by Alonso Diaz

Venezuela's Supreme Court declared an amnesty law for jailed opposition leaders unconstitutional on Monday. The legislation, which was approved by the opposition-controlled congress, would have frees dozens of jailed opposition politicians and was among campaign promises that delivered control of congress to the opposition in 2015. The court reasoned that the law would allow …

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by Taylor Isaac

A Serbian rights group, the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC), announced Tuesday that it will be appealing a fine imposed by the First Basic Court in Belgrade to compensate the Serbian Army Chief of General Staff for damages caused by allegations of war crimes in Kosovo during the 1998-1999 conflict. According to the HLC [press …

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by Alonso Diaz

Yanghee Lee, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, on Tuesday welcomed the release of political prisoners in that country. The Special Rapporteur stated that "it was ... touching to see joyful scenes across the country as individuals and able to reunite with their families." She maintained that the individuals should never …

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by Taylor Isaac

UN rights experts on Monday called for Honduras to provide justice in the murder case of Berta Cáceres, as well as broad protection for everyone defending human rights and the environment. Cáceres was the founder of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations Honduras (COPINH) and a prominent defender of indigenous rights …

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by Alexandra Farone

A committee in the lower house of the Brazilian legislature voted 38-27 on Monday to recommend the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff over corruption and budget violations before her 2014 re-election. The full lower house must pass the recommendation by a two-thirds majority vote to send the provision to the Senate. …

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by Alexandra Farone

The Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA) has obtained secret documents from Syria that have led members to believe Syrian President Bashar al-Assad can be successfully prosecuted for war crimes. The documents allegedly prove that Assad was the commander responsible for the torture and killing of his own citizens. This is the first …

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by Jacqueline Jones

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday that the only way to prevent future atrocities like the Rwandan genocide is to take shared responsibility and shared action to prevent them. Speaking at the General Assembly commemoration of the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda, the secretary acknowledged the "bravery" of the survivors …

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by Jacqueline Jones

The US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit on Monday threw out a constitutional challenge to Utah's anti-bigamy laws. The lawsuit was brought in 2011 by the family from TLC's reality TV show Sister Wives after their polygamous relationship was threatened by a county prosecutor under the state's bigamy law. The …

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by Bradley McAllister

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Monday argued that a proposed Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Turkmenistan should be halted until Turkmenistan meets human rights benchmarks. The European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing on Monday to debate the conclusion of a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Turkmenistan. …

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