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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 […]

Bangladesh: Human Rights Commission Created

(Jan. 2, 2008) On December 9, the Bangladesh National Human Rights Commission Ordinance of 2007 became law. It establishes the National Human Rights Commission. The Commission is empowered to investigate human rights violations and settle issues, or refer them to judiciary for further action. The selection committee is headed by an Appellate Division Justice, nominated […]

Zimbabwe: Proposal to Amend Security and Media Laws

(Jan. 2, 2008) On December 18, 2007, Zimbabwe's government introduced proposed amendments to the laws on security and on the media. The changes were introduced in Parliament by Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, as part of a political deal involving the ruling ZANU-PF Party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The opposition has criticized […]

ASEAN: Charter Signed

(Dec. 2, 2007) During their 13th summit, held from November 18-22, 2007, Members of ASEAN (the Association of South East Asian Nations, consisting of Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) signed a charter setting out ASEAN's principles and rules as well as a declaration indicating their intention to implement […]

Cambodia: Genocide Tribunal Has First Hearing

(Dec. 2, 2007) International media have reported the first public hearing of the Genocide Tribunal of Cambodia. It was a request for bail by Kang Kek Ieu, the former head of the Tuol Sleng prison in Phnom Penh. The tribunal is supported by the United Nations and has a mandate to try surviving Khmer Rouge […]

South Korea: Prison Abuse

(Nov. 2, 2007) The father of an inmate in a South Korean prison who was allegedly attacked by a guard filed a written statement complaining of the attack in March 2007 to the country's Human Rights Commission. In September, the Commission recommended that the Anyang Prison take disciplinary action against the guard. The prison, however, […]

Niger: Reporters Without Borders Seeks Journalist’s Release

(Nov. 2, 2007) Moussa Kaka, director of the private Radio Saraounia and a correspondent in Niger of Radio France Internationale (RFI) and of the international, nonprofit, journalist rights organization Reporters Without Borders, was arrested on September 20, 2007, and is being held in detention. Kaka may be charged with breaching national security and his arrest […]

Russia: Compensation for Victims of Federal Troops in Chechnya

(Nov. 2, 2007) On October 4, 2007, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued a ruling under which Russia is obligated to pay €200,000 (about US$285,000) to three Chechen women who suffered from the unwarranted and indiscriminate use of force by the Russian military. This is a record high amount of compensation ever awarded […]

United States: Lawsuit Allowed to Proceed Against Corporations for Aiding and Abetting Apartheid Regime in South Africa

(Nov. 2, 2007) On October 12, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissing plaintiffs' claims under the Alien Tort Claims Act ("ATCA"). The plaintiffs had filed claims against a variety of international corporations under the ATCA, a […]