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Italy: Right to Strike in Essential Public Services

(Oct. 2, 2018) On July 27, 2018, the Italian Constitutional Court issued a decision incidentally on the constitutional legitimacy of the right to strike by certain government employees (in this case, public defenders) providing essential public services. (Decision No. 180 of July 27, 2018, Issued in a Constitutional Legitimacy Case by Incidental Procedure (the Decision), […]

Italy: Constitutional Court Rules on Constitutionality of Prison Benefits Provisions

(Sept. 17, 2018) On July 11, 2018, the Italian Constitutional Court issued a decision on the constitutional legitimacy of article 58-quater of Law No. 354 of 1975 regarding prison benefits for persons sentenced to life imprisonment for certain crimes. (Decision No. 149 of July 11, 2018, Issued in a Constitutional Legitimacy Case by Incidental Procedure […]

Egypt: British Woman Sentenced for Carrying Painkillers

(Apr. 2, 2018) On December 26, 2017, the Criminal Court of Safaga, a town on the coast of the Red Sea, sentenced a British woman to three years in prison and fined her 100,000 Egyptian pounds (EGP) (about US$5,611) for the possession of the narcotic painkiller Tramadol. (Magdy Samaan & James Masters, British Tourist Gets […]

Israel: Increase in Prisoners’ Living Space Mandated

(June 30, 2017) On June 13, 2017, Israel’s Supreme Court, sitting as a High Court of Justice, accepted petitions submitted by several associations and ordered the state to increase the personal living space allotted to every prisoner in the country within the next nine months to a minimum of three square meters (SM; approx. 32.3 […]

France: Continuous Video Surveillance of Prisoner Maintained

(Sept. 13, 2016) The Conseil d’État (the highest administrative jurisdiction in France) has rejected a request to suspend continuous video surveillance of Salah Abdeslam, an imprisoned suspect in the Paris and Saint-Denis terrorist attacks that took place on November 13, 2015. (Vidéosurveillance en prison [Video Surveillance in Prison], Conseil d’État [Council of State] website, (July 28, […]

Venezuela: Prohibition of Use of Cellular Phones and Internet by Inmates

(Aug. 25, 2016) The Venezeulan Congress recently passed the Law Regulating the Use of Cellular Phones and the Internet Inside Penitentiaries, prohibiting the use of cellular phones and the Internet in prisons. The Law imposes a penalty of three to five years of imprisonment on anyone who introduces cellular phones or Internet-ready devices in prisons. […]

Sri Lanka: Criticism of Ongoing Use of Torture

(May 13, 2016) In a statement following a nine-day trip to Sri Lanka, Juan E. Méndez, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture, claimed that criminal and terrorism investigators in Sri Lanka still use torture against detainees, even though the use has declined since the end of the country’s civil war seven years ago. While […]

Cambodia: Plan to Reform Torture Prevention Committee

(Apr. 19, 2016) Although plans have not been made concrete, Cambodia’s Interior Minister, Sar Kheng, has announced that the government’s Committee Against Torture will be reformed. The announcement came on April 8, predating the April 13, 2016, release of the annual U.S. Department of State human rights report that criticized Cambodia on the issue of […]

United Nations: Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals Arrests French Journalist

(Apr. 6, 2016) The United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) on March 24, 2016, arrested French journalist Florence Hartmann, based on a warrant issued in November 2011 by the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).  (Press Release, MICT, Mechanism Arrests Contempt Convict (Mar. 24, 2016); Jacqueline Jones, […]

Brazil: New Law Separates Inmates According to Their Crimes

(Oct. 21, 2015) On October 6, 2015, Brazilian President Dilma Roussef signed Law No. 13,167, which amends article 84 of the current Prison Law to establish the criteria to be used for the separation of detainees in prisons according to the gravity of the crime committed. (Lei No. 13.167 de 6 de Outubro de 2015, […]