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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 […]

Liberia: Human Rights

(Feb. 2, 2008) The Associated Press reported that Joshua Milton Blahyi, former rebel leader in the Liberian civil war, recently appeared before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Liberia. In his testimony to the commission on January 15, 2008, Blahyi confessed to the killings of 20,000 people and ordering fighters under his command to […]

South Africa: Political Leader Faces Corruption Charges

(Jan. 2, 2008) Jacob Zuma, the new head of the South African National Congress (ANC), the ruling party in South Africa, faces fresh corruption charges in connection with a US$5 billion arms deal carried out in 1999, according to a BBC news report of December 20, 2007. If Zuma is convicted, his prospects of becoming […]

Zimbabwe: Abuse of Power

(Jan. 2, 2008) As reported by the Associated Press on December 16, 2007, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has suspended Sobusa Gula-Ndebele from his post as the attorney general in connection with a case of a fugitive banker who is wanted for alleged currency offenses. Mugabe also formed a tribunal to investigate the attorney general. […]

Nigeria: Drug Company Officials Face Contempt of Court Charges

(Jan. 2, 2008) It was reported on December 25, 2007, that a judge in the Nigerian state of Kano ordered the arrest of high executives of the subsidiary in Nigeria of the United States drug company, Pfizer Inc., for failing to make a court appearance. The court ordered the arrest of the head of Pfizer […]

Ethiopia: Activists Sentenced for Inciting Violence

(Jan. 2, 2008) Two Ethiopian anti-poverty activists were recently convicted and sentenced to two–and-a-half years in prison for inciting violence in connection with the civil unrest that claimed about 190 lives in the aftermath of the Ethiopia's 2005 elections. Because the defendants have been in prison for more than two years during their trial, their […]