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Legal news from Friday, February 10, 2017
by Akira Tomlinson

According to an Amnesty International report (AI) on Friday, "the ongoing political persecution of Anwar Ibrahim is symbolic of Malaysia's crackdown on human rights." According to Josef Benedict, AI's Deputy Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Anwar has spent two years in prison on politically-motivated charges. Since Anwar's conviction, Malaysian government attacks on civil society have reportedly …

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by Akira Tomlinson

A judge for the US District Court for the Western District of Washington ruled Wednesday that Microsoft can pursue its legal challenge that government gag orders are unconstitutional. Microsoft brought suit in April of last year alleging that sections 2705(b) and 2703 of the Stored Communications Act (SCA), which governs the government's access to electronic information …

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by Erik Slobe

The state of Georgia has settled a lawsuit against Secretary of State Brian Kemp over a voter registration law that would reject any application that did not exactly match personal identification information in state and federal databases. As part of the settlement, Georgia will no longer reject voter applications for not exactly matching the databases. Advocacy …

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by Erik Slobe

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday approved an 18-article bill that would provide significant changes to Turkey's constitution. A public referendum vote will be held on April 16 to see if the changes will be incorporated. Erdoğan has stated that the changes are necessary to provide stability in Turkey. Opponents of the bill …

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by William Theisen

A UN human rights expert on Fridayurged the Cameroonian government to restore Internet access to the country's English-speaking populations. In his statement, Special Rapporteur David Kaye called the delay in restoring Internet access, which has been cut-off since January 17, "an appalling violation of their right to freedom of expression." The network shutdown primarily affects the county's northwest …

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by Elizabeth Lowman

The Mississippi Senate on Thursday approved a bill forbidding public universities and local governments to prohibit employees from disclosing any person's immigration status to a federal official. Senate Bill 2710 also prohibits local government and universities from implementing a policy that "grants to any person the right to lawful presence or status within the state, …

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by Lawrenz Fares

The New Hampshire House of Representatives on Thursday approved a bill that would repeal the law prohibiting state citizens from carrying concealed firearms without a permit. Though similar bills have passed [NRA-ILA report] through the New Hampshire legislature twice, they were vetoed by the former governor, Senator Chuck Morse, on both occasions. …

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by William Theisen

The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled Thursday that the practice of keeping former death row inmates in solitary confinement after their death sentences have been vacated is unlawful. The plaintiffs, Craig Williams and Shawn T. Walker, are inmates in the custody of the defendant Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. Both were sentenced to death …

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by Gwenyth Gamble Jarvi

New Gambian President Adama Barrow has confirmed through a top EU official that The Gambia will remain in the International Criminal Court (ICC). Neven Mimica, the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, was in The Gambia to announce a package of financial support for the country and reported the decision …

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by Lawrenz Fares

Romanian Justice Minister Florin Iordache, the man who originally introduced the corruption decree that sparked large protests, resigned on Thursday in the wake of protests calling for the government to resign. During his press conference, Iordache stated that since his time at the Justice Ministry began, …

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by Gwenyth Gamble Jarvi

Peruvian Judge Richard Concepcion on Thursday ordered the arrest of former president Alejandro Toledo for his alleged involvement with a bribery scandal involving the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht SA. Concepcion ordered Toledo to spend up to 18 months in preventative prison while prosecutors investigate his alleged involvement in taking $20 million in bribes Odebrecht …

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by Elizabeth Lowman

Six Democrats in the North Carolina House of Representatives filed a bill on Thursday to reverse House Bill 2, commonly known as the "bathroom bill." HB2 requires transgender individuals to use the restroom that corresponds with their biological sex, which is defined by the legislature as "the physical condition of being male or female, which …

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by Justin Cosgrove

US President Donald Trump signed three executive orders on Thursday aimed at targeting drug cartels, creating a task force to reduce crime and stopping crimes against law enforcement. Attorney General Jeff Sessions presented the orders to Trump as his first act as head of the Department of Justice. Trump stressed the importance of these …

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by Justin Cosgrove

A former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor was indicted on Wednesday by a federal grand jury on charges that he willfully retained national defense information. US officials are stating that the theft by Harold Thomas Martin may have been the largest heist of classified government information in history. Martin allegedly spent over 20 years …

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by Alexandra Farone

Nepal on Thursday extended the mandates of two separate commissions tasked with investigating crimes from the country's civil war. This extension came hours before the mandates were set to expire without any cases actually having been investigated in the two-year period. The mandates have been extended for another year. However, some critics believe one …

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by Alexandra Farone

The Constitutional Court of Romania declined on Thursday to rule on a controversial decree decriminalizing certain corruption offenses. The decree was introduced by the government last week and then referred to the court for review, but the ruling Social Democrats withdrew the decree two days after the referral due to massive protests. The court has …

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