Should Nations Be Denied U.N. Human Rights Council Membership?

No matter who wins U.N. General Assembly vote for the 18 seats on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), there will be critics who contend that certain member states are unfit to serve because of their systematic violation of human rights and disrespect for the rule of law. Many find...

US re-elected to UN Human Rights Council seat

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The United States was re-elected Monday to another three-year term on the U.N. Human Rights Council in the only contested election for the organization's top human rights body. The U.S. was competing with four countries for three open seats belonging to the Western Group...

Radical cleric Abu Qatada wins deportation appeal

LONDON (AP) - A radical Islamist cleric described by prosecutors as a key al-Qaida operative in Europe cannot be deported from Britain to Jordan to face terrorism charges, judges ruled Monday in the latest twist in a protracted legal saga. Britain's government has been Full version (available...

Russia expands treason law, critics fear crackdown

MOSCOW (AP) - Adding to fears that the Kremlin aims to stifle dissent, Russians now live under a new law expanding the definition of treason so broadly that critics say it could be used to call anyone who bucks the government a traitor. The law took effect Wednesday, just two days after Full version...

Rights group alarmed over Morocco's underage maids

RABAT Morocco (AP) - Morocco has made progress in reducing the number of girls working as domestic servants but much more needs to be done, Human Rights Watch reported Thursday. Tens of thousands of girls under the age of 15 are still working as domestic servants in Morocco, and they are subject...

Jamaica to abolish slavery-era flogging law

KINGSTON Jamaica (AP) - Jamaica is preparing to abolish a slavery-era law allowing flogging and whipping as means of punishing prisoners, the Caribbean country's justice ministry said Thursday. The ministry said the punishment hasn't been ordered by a court since Full version (available...

Pakistan court acquits Christian girl of blasphemy

ISLAMABAD (AP) - A Pakistani court on Tuesday acquitted a Christian girl accused of blasphemy over the burning of the Muslim holy book, her lawyer said. The ruling was the final chapter in a case that caused an international outcry over Pakistan's strict blasphemy laws, which are very Full version...

2nd Tunisian detainee dies after hunger strike

TUNIS Tunisia (AP) - A second suspect in the attack on Tunisia's U.S. embassy died Saturday after months on a hunger strike, his lawyer said. Mohammed Bakhti, a prominent member of the ultraconservative Muslim Salafi movement, was admitted to intensive care days earlier following complications...

Chavez foes hope for 'political prisoner' amnesty

CARACAS Venezuela (AP) - Venezuela's opposition leaders are calling on President Hugo Chavez to grant amnesty to the country's self-proclaimed political prisoners. Opposition congressman Edgar Zambrano said he was optimistic after presenting a proposed bill amnesty bill to the Full version...

Egypt arresting kid protesters, rights groups says

CAIRO (AP) - Egyptian authorities arrested more than 300 children during protests in Cairo over the past year, beating and torturing some and trying many as adults, a leading international rights group said Tuesday. Human Rights Watch said in a report that the arrests and treatment of detained children...

US judge: Somali colonel responsible for torture

COLUMBUS Ohio (AP) - A former military colonel with a Somali security force dubbed the "Gestapo of Somalia" by its critics was responsible for the torture of a human rights advocate in the 1980s, a federal judge ruled Tuesday in a decision that opens the door for a hearing on Full version...

UN Security Council puts sanctions on Congo rebels

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Tuesday to sanction the leaders of Congo's M23 rebel force, which hours earlier occupied the eastern Congolese city of Goma as U.N. peacekeepers stood by without resisting. But it did not name two Full version (available to lexis...

Europe mulls banning 'boxes' for abandoned babies

BERLIN (AP) - German pastor Gabriele Stangl says she will never forget the harrowing confession she heard in 1999. A woman said she had been brutally raped, got pregnant and had a baby. Then she killed it and buried it in the woods near Berlin. Stangl wanted to Full version (available to lexis.com...

UN criticizes Russia over torture allegations

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The U.N. Committee Against Torture strongly criticized Russia in a report for failing to investigate widespread allegations of torture and stepping up intimidation and reprisals against human rights advocates and journalists. The panel of 10 independent experts expressed concern...

Nigerian Sex Trafficking, Witchcraft, and the Rule of Law

Imagine you are a young woman living in Nigeria. Living in poverty without an education or vocational skills, your choices are limited. How will you survive? If you're a single mother, a popular option is to work as a prostitute. Don't expect child support from your kid's biological...

Probe finds abuse in Guatemala mental hospital

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) - Human rights groups say they found hundreds of women and children subjected to sexual and physical abuse at a public psychiatric hospital in Guatemala's capital. The Human Rights Office of the Archbishop of Guatemala led an investigation by Full version (available to lexis...

Cuban dissidents denounce threats

HAVANA (AP) - A leading Cuban opposition figure said Thursday that he and another dissident were threatened, and in one case attacked, by people they took to be intelligence agents in separate incidents on the same day. Elizardo Sanchez said two plainclothes officials Full version (available to...

Venezuela judge on trial refuses to enter court

CARACAS Venezuela (AP) - Venezuelan authorities began trying the country's most famous judge in absentia Wednesday while she refused to enter the courtroom alleging violations of her rights. Coming nearly three years after her arrest, the trial of Judge Maria Lourdes Afiuni started amid a scandal...

Can Syria’s Rebels Restore the Rule of Law?

Syrian Attorney Mohammed Haj Hussein is attempting to create an impartial legal system in territory held by rebels. The goal is to provide justice that has been lacking in President Bashar al-Assad's authoritarian regime. On a positive note, the new system relies upon an impartial judiciary...

The Cyrus Cylinder, International Human Rights Day and the Rule of Law

As many celebrate International Human Rights Day today (December 10 th ), a 2500-year-old inscribed stone, the Cyrus Cylinder reminds us that human rights are a complex issue with which humankind has struggled with throughout history. In 2013, the British Museum will lend the clay cylinder for a...

Chile apologizes to lesbian denied custody of kids

SANTIAGO Chile (AP) - Chile's government has apologized to a lesbian judge who was denied custody of her three daughters because she is gay. The apology was issued Friday during a ceremony led by Justice Minister Teodoro Ribera. Chile says it will pay Full version (available to lexis.com subscribers...

Innocent verdicts in Argentine sex slave trial

BUENOS AIRES Argentina (AP) - Judges found all defendants innocent Tuesday in a high-profile case of an Argentine woman who was allegedly kidnapped and forced into prostitution a decade ago. The 13 people on trial in the province of Tucuman had Full version (available to lexis.com subscribers)

Pressure grows on Salvador to prosecute massacre

SAN SALVADOR El Salvador (AP) - Rights groups are calling on El Salvador to investigate the 1981 army massacre of about 1,000 people at El Mozote. Judiciary officials say cases could be opened despite a 1980s amnesty law. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights says El Salvador should Full version...

UN says Congo's army committed rapes in east

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Preliminary investigations by the U.N. peacekeeping force in Congo indicate that Congolese army soldiers committed rapes, looting and other human rights violations after they retreated from the key city of Goma following its capture by M23 rebels, the United Nations said Friday...

The Future of Tibet and the Rule of Law

To many in the Western World, Tibet brings to mind the current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gayatso, a humble man who has achieved celebrity status primarily through news reports showing him meeting with heads of state and famous actors who are Buddhists. Relatively few understand that the Dalai Lama lives...