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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 […]

Rwanda: Former Official to Be Tried for Genocide

(Mar. 2, 2008) Callixte Nzabonimana, who had been Minister of Youth and Sports in Rwanda in 1994, was arrested on February 19, 2008, in Kigoma, Tanzania. He was sent the next day to Arusha, the location of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), where he will be tried for his role in the 1994 […]

Cambodia: Khmer Rouge Victims’ Complaints Reviewed

(Feb. 2, 2008) The tribunal established to try Khmer Rouge leaders for their crimes in Cambodia has received more than 500 complaints by victims. The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), established with the backing of the United Nations, is now in the process of reviewing and responding to them. Although the ECCC […]

China: Legal Scholars Call for Ratification of ICCPR

(Feb. 2, 2008) On January 1, 2008, several legal scholars in China urged the State Council (Cabinet) to speed the process for the country's ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) before the upcoming summer Olympic Games in Beijing, by submitting the document to the National People's Congress (NPC) before the […]

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, […]