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Italy: New Law Making Torture a Crime

(Sept. 20, 2017) On July 18, 2017, new legislation creating the crime of torture entered into effect in Italy. (Law No. 110 of July 14, 2017, Introduction of the Crime of Torture in the Italian Legal System (Law No. 110), GAZZETTA UFFICIALE  (July 18, 2017) (in Italian).) To effect this change, the new legislation introduces articles […]

Sweden/ECHR: Court Rejects Deportation of Iraqis Connected to U.S. Forces

(Oct. 20, 2016) On August 23, 2016, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued a judgment against Sweden for attempting to deport three Iraqi citizens in violation of article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits subjecting persons “to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or […]

New Zealand: Two Men Sentenced for Possession of ISIS Material

(June 24, 2016) On June 23, 2016, in two separate cases, New Zealand’s Auckland District Court sentenced two men for offenses that included possession of videos produced by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also referred to as ISIS).  The cases were the first of this kind in the country.  The charges against the […]

Sri Lanka: Criticism of Ongoing Use of Torture

(May 13, 2016) In a statement following a nine-day trip to Sri Lanka, Juan E. Méndez, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture, claimed that criminal and terrorism investigators in Sri Lanka still use torture against detainees, even though the use has declined since the end of the country’s civil war seven years ago. While […]

Cambodia: Plan to Reform Torture Prevention Committee

(Apr. 19, 2016) Although plans have not been made concrete, Cambodia’s Interior Minister, Sar Kheng, has announced that the government’s Committee Against Torture will be reformed. The announcement came on April 8, predating the April 13, 2016, release of the annual U.S. Department of State human rights report that criticized Cambodia on the issue of […]

Austria: State of Emergency Legislation Being Considered to Limit Refugee Numbers

(Apr. 19, 2016) A legal opinion commissioned by the Austrian government and delivered in March 2016 found that the plan of the Austrian Federation, states, municipalities, and cities to impose an upper limit on the amount of refugees, if the limit is understood as an absolute number, violates international and European Union law. According to […]

Brazil: New Anti-Terrorism Law Enacted

(Apr. 15, 2016) On March 16, 2016, Brazil enacted Law No. 13,260 to regulate section XLIII of article 5 of the Constitution, on terrorism. (Lei No. 13.260, de 16 de Março de 2016, PLANALTO; Constituição Federal [C.F.] (1988, as amended through Feb. 18, 2016), PLANALTO.) Section XLIII states that the law will regard the practice of […]

Indonesia: Proposal to Punish Abusive Police

(Apr. 4, 2016) Members of Indonesia’s House of Representatives, citing a recent case of a terrorist suspect, have proposed that a provision be added to the draft legislation on terrorism that would impose punishment on police officers who abuse their authority when dealing with alleged terrorists. (‘Punishment for Rights Abusers Should Be Stipulated in Terrorism […]

Norway: District Court Hears Breivik Accusation of Violations of Human Rights

(Mar. 18, 2016) On March 15, 2016, the Oslo District Court convened to hear a suit lodged by Anders Behring Breivik alleging that his treatment in prison is a violation of his human rights. (Press Release, Oslo Tingrett [Oslo District Court], Lawsuit Regarding Prison Regime and Claimed Violation of Human Rights (ECHR) (Mar. 14, 2016), […]

Netherlands: List of Safe Countries of Origin for Asylum Purposes Expanded

(Feb. 12, 2016) On February 9, 2016, the State Secretary for Security and Justice of the Netherlands, Klaas Dijkhoff, announced that he will add six jurisdictions to the country’s list of safe countries of origin; persons from countries on this list are deemed presumptively ineligible for asylum. The new additions are Ghana, India, Jamaica, Morocco, Mongolia, and Senegal, although Morocco […]