Law & Order

Vietnam cybersecurity law a devastating blow to freedom: Amnesty

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New law aims to prevent users from organising online for anti-state purposes and spreading false information. Al-Jazeera The passing of a new cybersecurity law by the Vietnamese parliament has led to criticism of its potential effect on freedom of speech and expression. Legislators said the new regulation, which will require tech companies to store data about Vietnamese users on local servers, will increase security in the country. But according to critics, this move could possibly stifle free speech for Vietnamese internet users ... Read More »

Special forces rookie ‘blooded’ by executing an unarmed man

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A Special Air Service Regiment trooper on his first deployment to Afghanistan was pressured to execute an elderly, unarmed detainee by fellow higher-ranking soldiers as part of a “blooding” ritual, according to defence insiders who were witnesses at the scene. Chris Masters & Nick McKenzie The Sydney Morning Herald And on the same mission, another man with a prosthetic leg was killed by machine-gun fire. His plastic leg was souvenired and later taken back to SAS headquarters in Perth to ... Read More »

Forced marriage convictions are welcome but for many victims stigma is still judge and jury

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In the four years since a change in the law regarding forced marriages in England and Wales, there have been two cases where parents have been convicted of forcing their daughters to marry by taking them out of the… Geetanjali Gangoli The Conversation One case, in Birmingham in May 2018, involved taking a daughter to Pakistan, the other – in Leeds, also in May 2018 – involved a couple luring their daughter to Bangladesh for a… These were the first ... Read More »

Australian officials spotted in mysterious Assange visit

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London: Australian government officials have paid a mysterious visit to Julian Assange in his Ecuadorian embassy refuge in London, in a sign there may be a breakthrough in the stalemate that has lasted almost six years. Nick Miller WAtoday Two officials from Australia’s High Commission were spotted leaving the embassy in Knightsbridge in west London on Thursday. It is the first time Australian consular officials have visited Assange at the embassy. They were accompanied by Assange’s lawyer Jennifer… Australian officials spotted… Read More »

NATO welcomes ceasefire with Taliban, calls for peace talks

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed on Thursday Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s unconditional ceasefire with the Taliban, and he called on the militants to lay down their arms and negotiate a peace… “The announcement of a ceasefire shows the seriousness of President Ghani and the Afghan government … I call on the Taliban to join the ceasefire,” Stoltenberg told… “The Taliban will not win on the battlefield. The only way for them to achieve a solution is to ... Read More »

Countering the Challenge of Closing Civic Space

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Since 2012, 72 countries around the world have passed more than 144 pieces of legislation restricting civil society, according to a new report exploring how donors can effectively support civic space. Wendy Williams ProBono The report, Effective Donor Responses to the Challenge of Closing Civic Space published by The International Centre for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), set out to examine what can be done to respond to and counter the closing civic space challenge more effectively. It revealed there had been ... Read More »

Israeli Parole Board Denies Palestinian Teen Ahed Tamimi Early Release

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Board says Tamimi, imprisoned for slapping an Israeli soldier, lacks remorse and remains dangerous Yotam Berger Haaretz A parole board has rejected a request by Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian teenager who received an eight-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to assaulting an Israeli soldier, for an early release. The Shin Bet security service issued an opinion in the case opposing her release. “The statements she has made about the case indicate her radical ideology, [and] along with the security situation in the ... Read More »

Zimbabwe: Lack of Reform Risks Credible Elections

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President Mnangagwa Should Act on Pledge for Free, Fair Vote (Harare) – The Zimbabwe government’s failure to carry out legal and electoral reforms threatens the credibility of national elections scheduled for July 30, 2018. HRW Despite President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s repeated promises that elections will be free and fair, the ability of voters to freely choose their leaders is in serious doubt. Human Rights Watch research in May, including interviews across the country, found that security force involvement in the electoral ... Read More »

Teenager held in solitary confinement sues state government

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A young Aboriginal man is suing the state government for placing him in solitary confinement in an adult prison for three months when he was 16 years old. Tammy Mills The Age Wonyarna Edwards and two other teenagers were transferred to the Charlotte Unit of Port Phillip Prison in 2012 after a staff member was stabbed in the neck and injured when the inmates tried to escape from the Parkville youth detention centre. Mr Edwards was in solitary confinement in ... Read More »

Bangladesh body count mounts; group urges U.N. action to stop drug war

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DHAKA/MUMBAI (Reuters) – The death toll in a Bangladeshi “zero tolerance” crackdown on drugs has risen to 140, with about 18,000 people arrested, the government said on Thursday, as a group of activists urged the United Nations to step in to stop the… Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina approved the anti-narcotics campaign in early May to tackle the spread of methamphetamines but the killings have raised fears among rights groups of a bloody Philippine-style campaign to wipe out… “In a manner… ... Read More »

EU faces Poland test

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of Law and Justice party (PiS) and twin brother of late Polish president Lech Kaczynski (unseen), his co-workers and supporters attend a ceremony marking the sixth anniversary of the presidential plane crash in Smolensk, in front of the presidential palace in Warsaw, Poland, on April 10, 2016. / AFP / AFP PHOTO / WOJTEK RADWANSKI        (Photo credit should read WOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

The showdown with Warsaw is about more than the rule of law. It’s about the bloc’s very identity. Paul Taylor Politico PARIS — The European Union has a last chance in the next few weeks to stop Poland from emasculating its justice system by forcing dozens of Supreme Court judges into early retirement and packing the courts with government supporters. It must not blink. This is not just about preserving the rule of law in the largest of the ex-communist member countries ... Read More »

In pictures: Chile students protest against harassment

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Thousands of people have marched through the Chilean capital, Santiago, to protest against sexual harassment and sexist behaviour in universities and schools. BBC The march saw schoolchildren joining students to demand an end to “institutionalised sexism” and violence against women on campuses and in schools. It is the latest in a string of protests since April, when allegations of sexual abuse by members of faculty and students first surfaced at a number of Chilean universities… In pictures: Chile students protest ... Read More »

Bavaria plans tougher approach to asylum-seekers in Germany

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Bavarian State Premier Markus Söder has unveiled new measures to speed up the asylum process and deport rejected applicants. Christoph Hasselbach DW He believes the rest of Germany should follow his lead. With Bavaria’s elections only a few months away, State Premier Markus Söder of the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) is advocating a tougher stance on asylum-seekers. The CSU, which has traditionally dominated Bavarian politics, fears large numbers of voters could turn their backs on the party and support the far-right ... Read More »

Justice Reinvestment Key To Reducing Indigenous Incarceration: Tom Calma

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Crime rates are dropping, but jailing rates – particularly of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – are sky-rocketing. A new approach is needed, and already well known writes Professor Tom Calma. New Matilda The Australian Law Reform Commission’s Pathways to Justice report tabled last week is one of a long line to address the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in prison, and not the first to point to justice reinvestment as a… Almost 10 years ago, in my ... Read More »

Religious freedoms should include spiritual beliefs too

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Nearly a third of Australians at the last census checked “None” when asked about their religion, up from 19% in 2006. What many people might not realise is that while some “Nones” are indeed atheists or agnostics, a substantial percentage do have faith. Jeremy Patrick The Conversation It’s just not in mainstream religion as we generally understand it. The number of people identifying as “spiritual but not religious” appears to be rising in the western world. A 2017 McCrindle report ... Read More »

The Ethnic Cleansing of Northern Cyprus

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Confessions of a Turkish-Cypriot Mass Murderer “Why is there not peace yet? How can we make peace when we have rabid murderers living among us? Instead of prosecuting them, we enable them to appear on TV and to boast about their murders…. If you do not even bring to account a murderer who says, ‘killing was my art,’ who will you bring to account?” — Şener Levent, the editor-in-chief of the Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika. So far, these “rabid murderers” have ... Read More »