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UK to introduce laws to eradicate female genital mutilation
9:43 AM ET, July 23
[JURIST] UK Prime Minister David Cameron [official website] on Tuesday announced [press release] plans to enact new laws that will protect girls from the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) [WHO backgrounder], procedures that intentionally alter or injure the female genitalia for non-medical reasons. The practice is often motivated by cultural, religious or social factors. Cameron made the announcement at Girl Summit 2014 [event website], an event hosted by the British government and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) [official website],...... [full story]

Recruitment of child soldiers persists in DRC: UN report
8:37 AM ET, July 23
[JURIST] UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui [official profile] presented [press release] her fifth report on the situation of children affected by armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) [UN backgrounder] to the Security Council Working Group on children and armed conflict Monday. The UN has documented almost 4,200 cases of recruitment of boys and girls by both government and rebel forces between 2010 and 2013. According to the UN report, one-third of...... [full story]

Kuwait top court upholds 10-year sentence for Twitter user
7:09 AM ET, July 23
[JURIST] Kuwait's Supreme Court on Monday upheld a 10-year jail sentence for a man accused of posting Tweets that insulted the Prophet Mohammed and the Sunni Muslim [BBC backgrounders] rulers of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Hamad al-Naqi, a 24-year-old member of Kuwait's Shiite minority, was also found guilty [AFP report] of spreading false news that undermined Kuwait's image abroad. The Supreme Court's decision is final and can only be commuted by the Kuwaiti Emir. An appeals court affirmed [JURIST report]...... [full story]

Dutch prosecutors open war crimes probe into Malaysia Airlines crash
12:42 PM ET, July 21
[JURIST] A spokesperson for the Dutch Public Prosecutor [official website, in Dutch] said Monday that their office has opened a war crimes investigation into last week's crash of Malaysia Airlines MH17 [BBC backgrounder] in Ukraine. Prosecutors are investigating allegations [Reuters report] of murder, war crimes and intentionally downing an airliner, and a representative is reportedly in Ukraine as part of the investigation. Under the Netherlands' Law on International Crimes [text, DOC], the government can prosecute any individual who committed crimes...... [full story]

Bahrain files suit to suspend main opposition group
11:30 AM ET, July 21
[JURIST] Bahrain's Ministry of Justice [official website, in Arabic] on Sunday filed a lawsuit seeking to suspend all activities of the main Shi'ite opposition group for three months. The move comes after leaders of the Al-Wefaq party [GU Berkley Center backgrounder] were charged recently with holding an illegal meeting [JURIST report] with a US diplomat from the State Department [official website]. The lawsuit, however, does not mention the meeting, but rather seeks to suspend the party [AP report] for violating...... [full story]

Egypt court reduces activist's sentence
4:14 PM ET, July 20
[JURIST] An Egyptian court on Sunday reduced the sentence of the prominent activist Mahienour El-Masry from two years to six months, and fined her LE50,000 (USD $7,000), for violating Egypt's protest law. El-Masry was found guilty of violating Egypt's protest law after being arrested for protesting during the Khaled Said murder retrial in December. During the protest El-Masry and eight other protesters allegedly organized an unauthorized protest, blocked off the road, assaulted a police officer and destroyed a police vehicle....... [full story]

Ethiopia court charges journalists with terrorism, inciting violence
9:50 AM ET, July 20
[JURIST] An Ethiopian court on Friday charged nine journalists with terrorism and inciting violence under Ethiopia's anti-terrorism law [text, PDF]. The journalists, including six bloggers, were arrested [HRW report] in April and have been prevented from accessing their families or legal counsel since their arrests. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) [advocacy website], since the implementation of the anti-terrorism law in 2009, Ethiopian authorities have used it as a tool to limit journalism critical of the government [CPJ...... [full story]

Executions increased worldwide last year: report
11:46 AM ET, July 19
[JURIST] Italian advocacy group Hands off Cain [advocacy website] released a report [summary] on Friday revealing that the number of deaths by capital punishment increased despite a general global trend toward capital punishment abolition. The organization reports that there are currently 161 countries and territories that, to different extents, have renounced the death penalty, and 37 countries continue to use the punishment. The number of executions in 2013 rose to 4,106 executions, compared to at least 3,967 in 2012. China...... [full story]

UN reports possible war crimes in Iraq
11:23 AM ET, July 19
[JURIST] There is evidence of serious human rights violations committed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) [BBC profile], associated armed groups, Iraqi security forces (ISF) and associated forces in the last month, including some that may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights [official websites] reported [press release] Friday. The report [report, PDF] documents various human rights...... [full story]

Italy appeals court overturns Berlusconi underage prostitution conviction
10:28 AM ET, July 19
[JURIST] An Italian appeals court on Friday acquitted former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi [BBC profile, JURIST news archive] in a prostitution case, reversing a lower court conviction [JURIST report] for paying a 17-year-old dancer for sex while he was in office and for abusing his power by asking police to release her. As a result of his former conviction, Berlusconi was banned from holding public office [JURIST report] for two years, which was reversed [AP report] upon his acquittal, and...... [full story]

For more world and US legal news from today, yesterday, and back to January 2003, check JURIST's Paper Chase Archive.


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