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A court in Pakistan’s capital has ordered an investigation into the controversial arrest of a former human rights minister over a decades old land dispute.

Chief Justice Ather Minallah of the Islamabad High Court late Saturday ordered the probe in response to a petition from the daughter of former minister Shireen Mazari.

Minallah questioned the decision by officials in Islamabad to allow police from a Punjab provincial district to make the arrest in the capital.

Mazari, who served in the Cabinet-level position under former Prime Minister Imran Khan, had been detained by police near her Islamabad home earlier in the day.

Fawad Chaudhry, former information minister in Khan’s administration, alleged that Mazari — the senior leader in Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party — had been politically targeted by the new administration of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif under the guise of a land dispute dating back to 1972.

Hours after Mazari’s arrest, Chief Minister of Punjab province Hamza Shahbaz ordered her release and late Saturday she was brought to the Islamabad court for an urgent hearing. She was then released.

Mazari has been critical of Sharif’s government on Twitter since Khan’s government was toppled in a no-confidence vote in Parliament last month. Khan’s party lawmakers resigned from the body’s lower house in protest and Khan is mobilizing supporters through public rallies across the country to pressure the government into an early election.


Israel’s Supreme Court rejected four petitions on Sunday that sought to derail controversial plans to build a cable car to Jerusalem’s Old City, paving the way for the project to progress.

Palestinian residents of east Jerusalem, environmentalists, urban planners, archaeologists and a small community from the Jewish Karaite sect had all lodged protests with the court in recent years. They said the project would harm the holy city’s historic character, desecrate a Karaite cemetery, and impact the lives and businesses of local residents.

The proposed cable car is being advanced by Israel’s Tourism Ministry and the Jerusalem municipality as a transportation solution to the city’s traffic-snarled streets and poor accessibility to the ancient walled Old City. Critics have pointed out that a cable car is not a suitable transit solution and the massive steel towers supporting the cables will mar the historic landscape.

The route would start near the “First Station,” a renovated old railway station that’s now a popular pedestrian mall, and span the biblical Valley of Hinnom to Mount Zion and terminate at the Dung Gate, the entrance to the Old City closest to the Western Wall, 2 kilometers away.

It is further complicated by the fact that it will be constructed in east Jerusalem, which Israel annexed after capturing in the 1967 Mideast war, but which the Palestinians seek as capital of a future state. Most of the international community does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over east Jerusalem.

In its decision, the court said any decision to relieve congestion around the Old City “even if it was decided not to do anything, would harm someone one way or another. There is no ‘perfect’ solution.”

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion wrote on Facebook that the cable car would get underway following the court ruling.


Pakistan’s political opposition toppled Prime Minister Imran Khan in a no-confidence vote in Parliament early Sunday after several political allies and a key party in his ruling coalition deserted him.

The opposition, which spans the political spectrum from leftists to religious radicals, will form a new government. The head of one of the largest parties, a brother of disgraced former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, is likely to take over as prime minister if confirmed in a vote Monday.

Anticipating his loss, Khan, who charged the opposition colluded with the United States to unseat him, has called on his supporters to stage rallies nationwide on Sunday. Khan’s options are limited, though. Should he see a big turnout in his support, he may try to keep the momentum of street protests as a way to pressure Parliament to hold early elections.

Khan earlier had tried to sidestep the vote by dissolving Parliament and calling early elections but a Supreme Court ruling ordered the vote to go ahead.

The vote comes amid cooling relations between Khan and Pakistan’s powerful military, which many of his political opponents allege helped him come to power in general elections in 2018. The military has directly ruled Pakistan for more than half of its 75 years and wields considerable power over civilian governments.


Mexico’s Supreme Court deemed constitutional Thursday a controversial energy law pushed by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador that gives government-owned power plants preference over private competitors.

The law took effect in March 2021, but a number of private energy companies sought injunctions blocking enforcement. With the law ruled constitutional, the injunctions will now have to be resolved.

The law establishes that electricity must be bought first from government power plants, which use primarily coal, oil and diesel to produce energy. If demand requires it, additional electricity could be purchased from private wind, solar and natural gas plants.

Jesús Ramírez, presidential spokesman, celebrated the court’s decision. “History will judge those who betray the country and the interests of Mexican people,” he said via Twitter.

Critics, including the United States government, maintain the law will undermine competition in the sector, hurt the environment and violate free trade agreements.

He said the U.S. hopes “the legal framework that emerges will support the creation of a North American clean energy powerhouse, protect current and future U.S. business investments in Mexico in accordance with Mexico’s obligations under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, and protect the integration of U.S.-Mexico supply chains for the prosperity of our region.”

The justices reviewed the law piece by piece and repeatedly returned divided votes that were not enough to overturn it. The constitutional challenge had been brought by the law’s opponents in the Mexican Senate. The court’s formal written decision will not be published for weeks.


A recent court ruling upholding a ban on Muslim students wearing head coverings in schools has sparked criticism from constitutional scholars and rights activists who say that judicial overreach threatens religious freedoms in officially secular India.

Even though the ban is only imposed in the southern state of Karnataka, critics worry it could be used as a basis for wider curbs on Islamic expression in a country already witnessing a surge of Hindu nationalism under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party.

“With this judgment, the rule you are making can restrict the religious freedom of every religion,” said Faizan Mustafa, a scholar of freedom of religion and vice chancellor at the Hyderabad-based Nalsar University of Law. “Courts should not decide what is essential to any religion. By doing so, you are privileging certain practices over others.”

Supporters of the decision say it’s an affirmation of schools’ authority to determine dress codes and govern student conduct, and that takes precedence over any religious practice.

“Institutional discipline must prevail over individual choices. Otherwise, it will result in chaos,” said Karnataka Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi, who argued the state’s case in court.

Before the verdict, more than 700 signatories including senior lawyers and rights advocates had expressed opposition to the ban in an open letter to the chief justice, saying that “the imposition of an absolute uniformity contrary to the autonomy, privacy and dignity of Muslim women is unconstitutional.”

The dispute began in January when a government-run school in the city of Udupi, in Karnataka, barred students wearing hijabs from entering classrooms. Staffers said the Muslim headscarves contravened the campus’ dress code, and that it had to be strictly enforced.


Ethiopia’s Supreme Court has upheld the order to release on bail journalist Amir Aman Kiyaro, who has been imprisoned for four months without charges, rejecting a police effort to block his bail.

The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the appeal by police against bail that had been granted by a lower court earlier this week for Kiyaro, an Ethiopian video journalist accredited to The Associated Press. That ruling said Kiyaro should be freed on bail while prosecutors determine whether or not to press charges against him.

The bail of 60,000 Ethiopian birr, about $1,170, has been paid, but Kiyaro remained in custody Thursday while police processed the bail paperwork before his expected release, according to his lawyer.

Kiyaro, 30, was detained on Nov. 28 in Addis Ababa under the country’s war-related state of emergency powers.Kiyaro is accused of “serving the purposes” of what the government has classified as a terrorist group by interviewing its officials, according to reports by Ethiopian state media, which cited federal police. Local journalist Thomas Engida was arrested at the same time and faces similar charges. Ethiopia’s Supreme Court also ruled that Engida should be released on bail.

If the journalists are found guilty of violating Ethiopia’s anti-terrorism law or the state of emergency law, they could face sentences of seven to 15 years behind bars, federal police inspector Tesfaye Olani has told state media.


Ukraine launched a case against Russia at the United Nations’ highest court accusing Moscow of planning genocide and asking the court to intervene to halt the invasion and order Russia to pay reparations, the court said Sunday.

The case, filed Saturday, asks the International Court of Justice, based in The Hague, to indicate “provisional measures” ordering Moscow to “immediately suspend the military operations” that were launched Feb. 24.

The case says Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine based on false claims of acts of genocide in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions of eastern Ukraine and now is planning genocidal acts in Ukraine.

Ukraine “emphatically denies that genocide happened in the eastern regions” and says it filed the case “to establish that Russia has no lawful basis to take action in and against Ukraine for the purpose of preventing and punishing any purported genocide,” the court said in a statement.

The court will schedule a hearing soon to hear the provisional measures request. Orders by the court are legally binding, but not always adhered to. If the court is found to have jurisdiction and the case goes ahead it will likely take years to reach a conclusion. A decision on so-called provisional measures, however, could come far sooner.

The world court already has a case brought by Ukraine on its docket linked to Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and Russian funding of rebels in eastern Ukraine. The U.N. court said in a preliminary ruling in 2017 that it expected both Moscow and Kyiv to work to implement the Minsk peace agreements that were designed to bring peace to conflict-ravaged eastern Ukraine.

The court hears disputes between nations over matters of law, unlike the International Criminal Court, also based in The Hague, that holds individuals criminally responsible for offenses including war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The ICC prosecutor, Karim Khan, said Friday that he was closely monitoring events in Ukraine and warned combatants he has jurisdiction over any genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Ukraine dating back to February 2014.

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