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Kenya: Lawmakers Amend the Constitution

(Apr. 2, 2008) The Kenyan President recently signed the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill and the National Accord and Reconciliation Bill into law. Before reaching the President's desk, the bills had been unanimously approved by the Kenyan Parliament. The constitutional amendment will make a power-sharing deal reached between President Mwai Kibaki's ruling party and Raila […]

Zimbabwe: Presidential Decree on Police at the Polls Challenged in Court

(Apr. 2, 2008) An opposition party in Zimbabwe is challenging a presidential decree that allows police presence in polling stations. The decree was issued two months after an electoral reform that bans police from coming closer than a 100-meter distance from a polling station was made in consultation with the opposition to ensure the privacy […]

Uganda: Strict Anti-Corruption Law Drafted

(Apr. 2, 2008) The Government of Uganda recently introduced a harsh anti-corruption bill that has a broad definition of "corruption." Among other provisions, the bill provides for a sentence of up to 14 years of imprisonment upon conviction of crimes of embezzlement and causing of financial loss; the confiscation of property acquired through corruption; amendment […]

Kenya: Constitutional Amendment Under Consideration

(Mar. 2, 2008) The Kenyan government and the opposition party may amend the Kenyan Constitution as part of a power-sharing deal that is expected to end the ethnic and political clashes that have claimed the lives of at least 1,000 people. Although the constitutional change is going to be only one part of a complicated […]

International Criminal Court; Kenya: Opposition Files Case Against Government

(Mar. 2, 2008) The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), the Kenyan opposition party, filed a case against the Kenyan government before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity, over the government's "mishandling of the protests" following the December 2007 election results. The ODM accuses the Kenyan police of adopting a "shoot to kill policy" […]

Nigeria: Cross-Dressers Face Charges

(Mar. 2, 2008) Eighteen cross-dressers face criminal charges before a Sharia court one year after their arrest in Bauchi, a city in northern Nigeria. Although the men were at first charged with sodomy, a crime punishable by death under Sharia law, the charge has now been reduced to indecent dressing and vagrancy. Yusuf Adamu, the […]

Uganda: Peace Agreement Shields Some from International Prosecution

(Mar. 2, 2008) The Ugandan government and the Lord Resistance Army (LRA), a Ugandan rebel movement, recently signed a peace agreement that will shield some members of the LRA from international prosecution. According to this agreement, members of the LRA accused of grave offenses would be brought before the Ugandan High Court, and others would […]

Gambia: Constitutional Law

(Feb. 2, 2008) The Gambia's Supreme Court recently dismissed a case brought jointly by two opposition parties, the United Democratic Party (UDP) and the National Reconciliation Party (NRP), challenging the constitutionality of recent amendments made to The Gambia's Constitution and the Local Government Act. The Attorney General and the Independent Electoral Commission of The Gambia […]

Swaziland: Criminal Justice System

(Feb. 2, 2008) Seven months after his appointment as Chief Justice of Swaziland, Richard Banda acknowledged the existence of "too much corruption" in the country's judiciary. Speaking about the setbacks experienced in the year 2007, he disclosed that serious corruption allegations have been made against individuals working in all branches of the criminal justice system, […]

Ethiopia: Human Rights

(Feb. 2, 2008) Mohammed Farah Hassan, an American citizen, has been held in Jijiga, the capital of Somali State in Ethiopia, for over a year. Although the security chief of the region has claimed that Hassan has been sentenced by an Ethiopian court, he did not specify the charges or the sentence and has refused […]