JURIST Legal News

JURIST's legal news service, powered by a team of over 40 law student reporters and editors led by Professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
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[JURIST] Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] released a report [text] on Monday detailing the violence carried out by the Ethiopian security forces during the Irreecha festival, the annual harvest celebration observed by the country's ethnic Oromo people. According to the report, possibly hundreds of people died after being shot by security forces or drowning after attempting to flee from bullets and tear gas. The security forces were allegedly responding to anti-government chants. "One year on, government has failed to meaningfully...
Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi [BBC profile] in a national address on Tuesday condemned [Reuters report] human rights violations in the nation's state of Rakhine, without addressing accusations from the UN and rights groups concerning the country's campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya Muslims. Suu Kyi pledged that, "[a]ction will be taken against all people, regardless of their religion, race and political position, who go against the law of the land and violate human rights." Suu Kyi...
The US Senate [official website] on Monday voted 89-8 [roll call] to approve HR 2810 [text, PDF], a $700 billion defense bill, authorizing support for defense programs and combat operations at home and overseas. Among other things, the bill authorizes appropriations to the Department of Defense [official website] for: 1) procurement, including aircraft, missiles, weapons and tracked combat vehicles, ammunition, shipbuilding and conversion, and space procurement, 2) research, development, test, and evaluation; 3) operation and maintenance; 4) working capital needs...
The Moscow Meshchansky court rejected a lawsuit [Moscow Times report] Monday filed by a relative of Raoul Wallenberg, seeking to access uncensored documents concerning Wallenberg's death in Soviet captivity. Wallenberg was a Swedish diplomat who is said to have rescued thousands of Hungarian Jews during World War II. Soviet forces captured Wallenberg in 1945 for espionage and placed him in KGB's Lubyanka Prison. The USSR released a document in 1954 saying Wallenberg died in the Lubyanka Prison of heart failure...
Recent Ohio arrestee Timothy Davis filed a civil rights lawsuit [complaint, PDF] in federal court on Sunday alleging Columbus, Ohio, police used excessive force to detain him in a convenience store. The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division [official website], named defendants as the City of Columbus, Officer Joseph Bogard, Officer Matthew Baker, and Other Unknown Officers or those officers who participated in Davis' arrest. Columbus police officers arrested Davis on...
Jared Genser, lawyer for detained Baquer and Siamak Namazi, on Monday released the opinion [text, PDF] from the UN Working Group on arbitrary detention [official website], which concluded that Iran was illegally detaining the father and son without legitimate reason. The non binding opinion was issued by the panel of five experts on international humanitarian law. The panel cited the Iranian actions as depriving the men of their liberty in direct violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [materials]...
Indian officials in Delhi indicated Monday that they have not received any data from China for the Brahmaputra river this monsoon season, in violation of an agreement [text] signed between the two countries in 2013. The Brahmaputra River, beginning in Tibet and having a southern flow into India and Bangladesh, is notorious for flooding the lower basin during the monsoon season. The river provides life to millions of inhabitants along its banks and has been a contentious issue among all...
Iraq's Federal Supreme Court [official website, in Arabic] on Monday temporarily suspended [press release, in Arabic] the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) [official website] independence referendum vote [NPR report] that was set to take place September 25. The move follows [JURIST report] the Council of Iraq's [official website] vote on Tuesday that denied [official summary, Arabic] the referendum petition of Kurdistan to permit its independence. The council voted to keep Kurdistan in its region despite ongoing tensions [JURIST op-ed] in order...
Six immigrants filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] on Monday challenging the Trump administration's decision to end [press release] the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) [USCIS materials], arguing that the Trump administration did not follow proper administrative procedure. The case, filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website], is the first brought by DACA recipients. According to the complaint:Notwithstanding the severe harm it will inflict, the government arbitrarily decided to break its...
Here's the international legal news we covered this week: The Office of the Attorney General of Indonesia announced [Jakarta Post report] Thursday that it would rescind a policy that banned lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals from becoming employees. [more] On Thursday, Tunisia's presidency spokeswoman, Saida Garrach, announced that the country's ban on Muslim women marrying non-Muslim men has come to an end. [more] The Iraqi parliament voted to oust Kirkuk governor Najm al-Din Karim on Thursday following rising...
Here's the domestic legal news we covered this week: A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled [opinion, PDF] Friday that the Trump administration cannot withhold grants to so-called "sanctuary cities," issuing a nationwide injunction. [more] A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled [opinion, PDF] Friday that the Trump administration cannot withhold grants to so-called "sanctuary cities," issuing a nationwide injunction. [more] US Senator Elizabeth Warren [official...
A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled [opinion, PDF] Friday that the Trump administration cannot withhold grants to so-called "sanctuary cities," issuing a nationwide injunction. US Attorney General had said in March that cities failing to enforce immigration laws may be cut off [JURIST report] from Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] grants, and the city of Chicago filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] in August after the DOJ placed restrictions on certain grants....
A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled [opinion, PDF] Friday that the Trump administration cannot withhold grants to so-called "sanctuary cities," issuing a nationwide injunction. US Attorney General had said in March that cities failing to enforce immigration laws may be cut off [JURIST report] from Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] grants, and the city of Chicago filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] in August after the DOJ placed restrictions on certain grants....
US Senator Elizabeth Warren [official website] on Friday introduced a bill [text, PDF] and announced an investigation [press release] into the recent Equifax breach. The proposed legislation is said to give consumers the ability to freeze their credit [The Street report] for free when such attacks take place. This is a response to the massive breach of Equifax, which left the data of 143 million people unprotected. Warren also wrote letters Equifax and other credit monitoring agencies to gain information...
The Office of the Attorney General of Indonesia announced [Jakarta Post report] Thursday that it would rescind a policy that banned lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals from becoming employees. The controversial policy had been denounced by human rights groups, who have expressed concern that the LGBT community has faced continued persecution at the hands of the government over the past year. Muhammad Nurkhoiron, commissioner of the Indonesia's National Human Rights Commission, spoke [HRW report] critically of the policy,...
[JURIST] A St. Louis, Missouri, circuit judge on Friday acquitted [ruling, PDF] a former police officer accused of first degree murder for the shooting of a black man. Jason Stockley was pursuing Anthony Lamar during a high-speed chase when evidence post-chase becomes inconclusive according to the court. Judge Timothy Wilson [official profile] stated that the prosecution did not meet its burden of proof. "This Court, as trier of fact, is simply not firmly convinced of defendant's guilt. Agonizingly, this Court...
On Thursday, the California State Legislature [official website] passed [vote record] SB 2 [text], an affordable housing bill. The bill enacts a $75 fee "to be paid at the time of the recording of every real estate instrument, paper, or notice required or permitted by law to be recorded, per each single transaction per single parcel of real property, not to exceed $225." The funds recovered by the fee will be used for affordable housing. The fee will not be...
On Thursday, Tunisia's presidency spokeswoman, Saida Garrach, announced that the country's ban on Muslim women marrying non-Muslim men has come to an end. The prior law had required men to convert to Islam and submit a certificate of the conversion before they were allowed to marry Muslim women. The ban has been in place since 1973. The president of Tunisia, Beji Caid Essebsi, had previously called for the end to the ban last month. Essebsi had argued that the law...
The Iraqi parliament voted to oust Kirkuk governor Najm al-Din Karim on Thursday following rising Kurdish tensions from a failed referendum petition [official summary, Arabic] on Tuesday. Following the counsel of Iraq's [official website] vote against the referendum petition, parliament authorized Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi to "take all measures" to preserve national unity [BBC report], which included dismissing the Kirkuk governor. Karim expressed his unwillingness to step down as governor and commitment to gaining independence, saying: "the referendum will go...
[JURIST] The Egyptian Supreme State Security Prosecution on Thursday acknowledged the detainment of Ibrahim Metwally, a human rights lawyer. Metwally was arrested three days prior after he was suspected of providing legal aid to the family of an Italian graduate student who abducted and killed by Egyptian forces while in Cairo in 2016. The Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms [advocacy website, in Arabic] is calling on the government to release Metwally and to drop any and all potential criminal...

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