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UN human rights office receives credible reports of arbitrary detentions in Ukraine – JURIST

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The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) through spokeswoman Liz Throssell said on Friday that it had received credible reports of Russian forces using cluster munitions in populated regions of Ukraine. The office also learned of arbitrary arrests of Ukrainians who expressed their opposition through peaceful protests. OHCHR received a report that four civilians were killed and 10 others injured in a cluster bomb explosion on 24 February at the Central Hospital in Vuhledar City, Donetsk. The hospital, ambulances and civilian vehicles were also damaged. Cluster munitions have wide area effects. According to the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions (Convention), a cluster munition is a weapon through which various submunitions contained in it can be dispersed over wide areas. Of the many submunitions, some may not explode immediately after launch, creating serious humanitarian repercussions both during and after conflict. The Convention strictly prohibits the use, development, production, acquisition, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions. Russia is not a party to the Convention. However, according to the OHCHR, the use of such ammunition remains incompatible with the principles of international humanitarian law that govern the conduct of hostilities. Therefore, the use of cluster munitions can amount to war crimes. There have also been concerns about arbitrary arrests of innocent people, especially in eastern Ukraine. However, the details of such arrests remain undisclosed to protect informants. The office believes that detainees are at risk of torture or other ill-treatment. Apart from the “indiscriminate use” of ammunition bombs, the use of missiles, heavy artillery shells, rockets and air strikes in populated regions has had devastating consequences. The office learned that on March 3, 47 civilians were killed when Russian airstrikes hit two schools and several apartment blocks in Chernihiv. On March 9, 17 civilians were injured and another three potentially killed. According to the OHCHR Ukrainian Civilian Casualty Update, between 4 am on February 24, when the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, and 12 am on March 12, there have been 1,663 civilian casualties. Of these casualties, 596 were killed and 1,067 wounded.

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US Supreme Court Adds Controversial Election Case to October 2022 Docket – JURIST

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The US Supreme Court announced Thursday that it will hear a controversial election case dealing with an emerging legal theory based on the election clause of the US Constitution. The theory claims that, under the election clause, State legislatures have unlimited power to determine electoral policy and implementation, and that state courts or state constitutions cannot control that power. map, which was previously struck down by state courts and replaced with a court-ordered map to be used for the 2022 midterm elections. The court found that the original map violated the clause in the state constitution that protects the fairness of the election by giving Republicans an unfair advantage. The court previously declined to hear the emergency case, but Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas signaled a willingness to consider the new legal theory in their dissent. Judge Alito, writing in the dissent, said: Both sides make serious arguments, but based on the report we have received, my opinion is that the petitioners’ argument is stronger. The question being presented is one of federal and not state law because the state legislature, in enacting rules for congressional elections, is acting pursuant to a constitutional mandate under the Electoral Clause. Carolyn Shapiro, a law professor and founder and co-director of the Chicago-Kent College of the US Supreme Court Law Institute, took issue with the Justice’s interpretation, saying that “legislatures are created by constitutions. Their powers are defined by the constitutions. How those powers interact with other branches of state government is defined by state constitutions. The limitations of those powers are defined by state constitutions.”

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Trump Affiliated Businessman Sentenced to 20 Months in Prison for Political Donation Crimes – JURIST

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The Justice Department said Wednesday that Lev Parnas, a businessman involved in the Trump-Ukraine affair, was sentenced to 20 months in prison on multiple counts related to soliciting donations from a foreign national. Parnas was convicted on charges of “conspiring to make political contributions of a foreign national in conjunction with soliciting and aiding and abetting the making thereof, conspiracy to make fictitious donations, participation in a wire fraud conspiracy, and making false statements and falsifying records. Parnas will also pay more than $2 million in restitution. The charges of making political contributions by a foreign national stem from events that occurred in March 2018. Parnas and other associates wanted to launch a business to obtain retail marijuana licenses in the US. The group turned over hundreds of thousands of dollars in political contributions before the 2018 election to curry favor with anyone who could help Parnas and his associates obtain these licenses. Parnas and an associate made a donation of $325,000 and falsely claimed that the donation was from Global Power Producers (GEP). Parnas also lied about the fact that he was receiving bogus donations and the contributions were not his own money. The fraud guarantee charges are from between 2012 and 2019. Parnas planned to defraud several people by convincing them to invest in his company. He said the contributions would be used solely for his business. Instead, the payments were withdrawn in cash, placed in personal bank accounts, and used for personal expenses. Damian Williams, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, stated: “Parnas also defrauded the American public by pumping Russian money into US elections and lying about the origin of funds for political contributions. My office will continue to aggressively prosecute those who put their personal and financial benefit above their country and their investors.” The office’s Public Corruption Unit is handling the Parnas case.

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Indonesian parliament passes law to create more provinces in Papua amid fears of government crackdown – JURIST

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The Indonesian People’s Representative Council on Thursday approved legislation to establish three new provinces in the Papua region. The decision was made during the 26th plenary session when all members unanimously agreed to pass three bills that established the new provinces. Currently, the easternmost region of Indonesia is divided into two regions, Papua and West Papua. However, it will now be divided into five provinces. The three new provinces have been named, South Papua Province with Merauke as its capital, Central Papua Province with Nabire as its capital, and Papua Mountains Province with Jaya wijaya as its capital. Ahmad Doli Kurnia Tandjung, Chairperson of the Council Commission, stated that: The purpose of partitioning Papua is to speed up equitable development, speed up the improvement of public services, speed up community welfare and uplift the dignity of the indigenous people of Papua. Papua. Taking into account political, administrative and legal aspects, socio-cultural unity, human resource preparation, basic infrastructure, economic capacity, future developments and aspirations of the Papuan people. Veronica Koman of Amnesty International Australia expressed concern about how the legislation would affect Papuans. She said that by “cutting and dividing Papua into smaller administrative units, [the Indonesian government] hopes to divide and conquer Papuan identity and resistance.”

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