Following are the Top 5 International Criminal Justice & Law News stories for the week of October 16-22, 2016.
According to the Hindustan Times, the government of India is set to consider expanding victims rights in the courtroom. This is big news. Although India is a Democratic nation, the government has come under fire in recent years for its repression of rights. As noted on the website, MapsofIndia, the judiciary of the nation faces five serious crises. Among these, a lack of transparancy, corruption, and a lack of permitted involvement by the citizens of the nation. Such issues reduce public support of the government and could result in internal stife. Thus, the expansion of the rights of victims to the trials of the accused is a big step for criminal and social justice in India. Read more here.
A schism appears to be developing among law enforcement officials in America. The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) extended an official apology to minorities during their annual conference in San Diego, CA.
The President of the IACP, Terrence Cunningham, stated that Police Agencies need to “acknowledge and apologize for the actions of the past and the role that our profession has played in society’s historical mistreatment of communities of color.” He said this was necessary in order to promote positive changes in police-community relations. His comments did not set well with a related organization, the Fraternal Order of Police. Read Police Group Apologizes for U.S. Law Enforcement’s Role in ‘Historical Mistreatment’ of Minorities.
Just when it seemed safe for tourists to visit totalitarian regimes such as Saudi Arabia, the situation facing blogger Raif Badawi reminds everyone it is not. The Saudi government patently does not recognize such fundamental human rights as free speech and freedom of religion. Badawi, who has been in a Saudi prison since 2012, made news again this week after the Raif Badawi Foundation confirmed that he is to receive his next punishment out of the public eye. He was sentenced to 1000 lashes with a whip for critical statements regarding conservative factions of Islam. He has since healed from the initial 50 lashes on January 9, 2015, so the time has come for the Saudi “justice” system to deliver another 50. Anyone who cherishes Freedoms of Speech and Religion should read Saudi blogger Raif Badawi to be given more lashes in prison.
This should be an affront to all, but especially America. Saudi Arabia is one of the United States’ closest ally’s, yet is a repressive, radical Islamic force. Lest we forget, most of the 911 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. Perhaps a call to Congressional Reps to pressure the Saudi government may be in order. If you are a concerned U.S. Citizen, go to the Directory of Reps here to find the number.
Yet another close ally to the United States, this time one which claims to be a Democracy, is conducting itself much as Saudi Arabia. Israel is now “arresting” Palestinian children who post comments on Facebook deemed ‘inciting’ by the Israeli government.
Citing what has been termed “administrative detention,” the government detains the children without parental notification or visitation. Children are held in prison “detention,” indefinitely without any charges being filed. This is a disgraceful violation of basic human and judicial rights.
Aiding in the attack on these children is Facebook, which has been very cooperative. In fact, according to the human rights organization, Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP), Facebook has actively joined forces with the government of Israel to conduct these inhumane detentions of children.
Furthermore, indefinite detentions violate United Nations rules (pdf). Although Israeli law permits these human rights violations, Israel is a member of the United Nations and as such, is bound by the rules.
Although U.S. citizens may be inclined to appeal to Congress regarding these human rights violations, doing so may be useless. It seems that in 2014, the “UN Human Rights Committee Finds US in Violation on 25 Counts” of illegal detention and torture. Israel, it seems, is simply following the lead of its closest ally. If two wrongs don’t make a right, then certainly two criminal acts don’t make rights violations lawful.
Forbes Magazine online this week reported on a situation in California involving Federal Investigators and a blanket search. Federal Law Enforcement obtained a warrant to search a Lancaster, CA property. The warrant indicated that enforcement officials had…
“authorization to depress the fingerprints and thumbprints of every person who is located at the SUBJECT PREMISES during the execution of the search and who is reasonably believed by law enforcement to be the user of a fingerprint sensor-enabled device that is located at the SUBJECT PREMISES and falls within the scope of the warrant.”
The reason this is news is because of the general and broad nature of the warrant. The last time such broad warrants were used were in the American Colonies, prior to the Revolutionary War. In fact, one of the listed grievances against King George of England was the use of “general warrants.” Thus, in creating the Bill of Rights, general warrants were specifically excluded. Read Feds Walk Into A Building, Demand Everyone’s Fingerprints To Open Phones.