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Legal news from Thursday, February 16, 2017
by Alexis Wheeler

Two members of the Montenegrin parliament were stripped of their immunity Wednesday after facing accusations of involvement with an attempted coup. The lawmakers, Andrija Mandic and Milan Knezevic, are part of the Democratic Front (DF), a pro-Russian group that has firmly opposed the country's plan to join NATO. The decision faced public backlash and was subject to protests …

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by Alexis Wheeler

The Stockholm District Court on Thursday sentenced a former Syrian rebel fighter to life in prison for his participation in a mass execution of seven men in 2012. The defendant, who had permanent residence in Sweden, argued that the executions were carried out in accordance with the court-ordered death sentences issued for the men. Those executed were soldiers …

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by Rachel Gerber

A Michigan county's practice of offering Christian-only prayers at public board meetings is unconstitutional, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled Wednesday. Peter Bormuth filed suit after attending the county's Board of Commissioners meeting. The appeals court ruled that the lower court was wrong in rejecting Bormuth's argument that the practice of …

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by Jonathon Churchin

The Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) released its annual report on Thursday, highlighting intensified crackdowns on human rights defenders in China. According to the CHRD report, human rights activities are being criminalized as "'political' threats to 'national security.'" The report further highlights a number of practices used by the government, such as …

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by Rachel Gerber

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein urged a greater commitment to human rights Wednesday while announcing a $253 million funding appeal. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) launched its largest appeal to date, with Zeid urging member countries and private donors to help …

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by Aaron Christenson

The president of the UK Supreme Court on Thursday defended the court's ruling that only Parliament can activate the Article 50 mechanism to leave the EU. Lord Neuberger, when asked if he felt that politicians were needlessly interfering with a political decision that the nation had made, said:We were doing what our job requires …

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by Jonathon Churchin

Victims of sexual violence in Ukraine are not being provided with adequate access to justice or services in the country, according to a UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) report released Thursday. The report noted in particular that there is a prevailing impunity for cases of sexual violence in the country. As …

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by Jonathan Niznansky

The US Senate on Wednesday voted to reverse a 2007 law an Obama-era gun regulation that required mental health information to be shared with the national gun background check system. The bill, which passed the Republican controlled Senate with a vote of 57-43, instructs the Social Security Administration to cease implementation of a portion of the 2007 …

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by Jonathan Niznansky

Hate crimes rose by 50 percent in some areas England and Wales between July 2015 and July 2016, according to a new report by the Press Association Wednesday. The new analysis supplements a report from the Home Office, released in October, that showed an increase in hate crimes. The report defined hate crime to be any …

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by Steven Wildberger

The Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District on Wednesday ruled that state prison officials are not required to disclose the names of the pharmaceutical suppliers that provide the state with pentobarbital, the drug used in lethal injection. The opinion reversed a March decision that found the state wrongly withheld the names of two pharmaceutical suppliers, in …

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by Gwenyth Gamble Jarvi

Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks on Wednesday urged Turkey to "change course and to display the responsibility and tolerance expected in a democratic society." The commissioner's document comes amid increased scrutiny of Turkey's treatment of journalists and other members of Turkish society, allegedly leading to the repression of free speech …

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by Steven Wildberger

The Supreme Prosecutors' Office of the Republic of Korea on Wednesday announced that it added charges to Samsung Vice President Jay Y Lee's indictment alleging collusion between Lee and President Park Geun-hye. Seoul Central District Court Judge Cho Eui-yeon denied prosecutors an arrest warrant in January, stating that the evidence did not support the charges. …

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