Death Penalty Database

Yemen

Information current as of: April 4, 2011

General

Official Country Name

Republic of Yemen (Yemen). [1]

Geographical Region

Asia (Western Asia). [2]

Death Penalty Law Status

Retentionist. [3]

Methods of Execution

Shooting.
Death sentences may be executed by shooting. [4] All executions reported by Capital Punishment U.K. from 2008-2010 were by shooting. [5] The condemned may be shot to death in a prison or in public; execution is by a shot to the heart (sometimes after being forced to lie face down on the ground) or by a gunshot to the back of the head while kneeling. [6]

Stoning.
Stoning is possible under the criminal procedure [7] and penal law; [8] reports indicate that, in practice, executions are rarely carried out by stoning. [9]

Comments.
The method of executing death sentences may vary based on whether the penalty is hadd, qisas or ta’zir. [10] In practice, reports on a small fraction of executions indicate that shooting is used as the method of execution for a variety of offenses, including for offenses such as “banditry” [11] (which is a hadd offense). [12]

The criminal procedure law permits crucifixion after execution (for hiraba); the body of the condemned is publically displayed for up to three days. [13]

The method of executing death sentences that are “retribution-in-kind” [14] is not well-defined, although impliedly such sentences might be carried out by beheading or shooting. [15] Qisas (retribution) sentences [16] have been carried out by shooting. [17]

References

[1] U.S. Dept. of State, Background Note: Yemen, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/35836.htm, Jan. 27, 2010.
[2] U.N., World Macro Regions and Components, U.N. Doc. ST/ESA/STAT/SER.R/29, 2000.
[3] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2014, ACT 50/001/2015, Mar. 31, 2015.
[4] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning the Criminal Procedures, art. 485, Law No. 13 of 1994.
[5] Richard Clark, Executions Worldwide, http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/world.html, last accessed Sep. 10, 2010. See this page and corresponding links to pages that list previous executions.
[6] Amnesty Intl., I Owe My Life to Amnesty International, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/i-owe-my-life-amnesty-international-2010-04-09, Apr. 9, 2010; Peter Finn, The post-9/11 life of an American charged with murder, Washington Post, http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/world/7188415.html, Sep. 6, 2010; Telegraph.co.uk, Execution of Yemeni child killer captured on camera, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/yemen/5765664/Execution-of-Yemeni-child-killer-captured-on-camera.html, Jul. 7, 2009.
[7] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning the Criminal Procedures, art. 487, Law No. 13 of 1994.
[8] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 38, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[9] Radio Nederland Wereldomroep, La lapidation, une peine de moins en moins appliqué dans le monde musulman, http://www.rnw.nl/afrique/bulletin/la-lapidation-une-peine-de-moins-en-moins-appliquee-dans-le-monde-musulman, Sep. 10, 2010. (in the sources folder). The U.N. Human Rights Committee has expressed concern over the possibility of stoning, although the report may no longer describe current possibilities. U.N. ICCPR Human Rights Committee, Consideration of Reports Submitted by State Parties under Article 40 of the Covenant, Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee, Yemen, para. 15, U.N. Doc. CCPR/CO/84/YEM, Aug. 9, 2005
[10] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning the Criminal Procedures, art. 485, Law No. 13 of 1994; Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 38, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[11] Richard Clark, Executions in April 2008, http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/apr08.html, last accessed Sep. 10, 2010. See this page and corresponding links to pages that list previous and later executions.
[12] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 12, Law No. 12 of 1994 (delineating hodoud, or, Quran-prescribed punishments).
[13] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning the Criminal Procedures, art. 486, Law No. 13 of 1994.
[14] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 38, Law No. 12 of 1994 (showing that retribution-in-kind includes capital punishment).
[15] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning the Criminal Procedures, art. 485, Law No. 13 of 1994.
[16] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 38, Law No. 12 of 1994 (showing that retribution-in-kind includes murder).
[17] Richard Clark, Executions Worldwide, http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/world.html, last accessed Sep. 10, 2010. See this page and corresponding links to pages that list previous executions.

Country Details

Language(s)

Arabic. [1]

Population

22,230,531. (July 2007 est.). [2]

Number of Individuals Currently Under Sentence of Death

1000. Mark Warren's August 2010 numbers indicated that there were 400 under sentence of death, but his updated figures give an estimate of 1000. [3] If this figure is correct, it suggests that Amnesty's reporting does not usually include all death sentences pronounced in Yemen. [4] This is not due to errors by Amnesty--reliable reports on Yemen do not exist, and estimates can range widely. [5]

Annual Number of Reported Executions

Executions in 2017 to date (last updated on August 15, 2017)

0. [6] (This is the number of executions reported in the media. Because of the secrecy surrounding capital punishment, we are not able to offer a reliable estimate.)

Executions in 2016

0. [7]

Per capita execution rate in 2016

Executions in 2015

Amnesty International confirmed that there were at least 8 executions but believes that more were carried out. [8]

Per capita execution rate in 2015

0 executions.

Executions in 2014

At least 22. [9]

Per capita execution rate in 2014

1 execution per 1,010,478 persons.

Executions in 2013

At least 13. [10]

Per capita execution rate in 2013

1 execution per 1,710,040 persons

Executions in 2012

28. At least 28. [11]

Per capita execution rate in 2012

1 execution per 793,948 persons

Executions in 2011

At least 41. [12]

Per capita execution rate in 2011

1 execution per 542,208 persons

Executions in 2010

53. [13]

Executions in 2009

At least 30. [14]

Executions in 2008

At least 13. [15]

Executions in 2007

At least 15. [16]

Year of Last Known Execution

2014. [17]

References

[1] U.S. Dept. of State, Background Note: Yemen, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/35836.htm, Jan. 27, 2010; The Constitution of the Republic of Yemen, art. 2, Feb. 20, 2001, translated by: Dr. Ahmed noman Al-Madhagi and Dr. Abdelrahman A. Abdrabou, revised by: Counselor Hossein ALI. Hubeishi and Dr. Mohammed M. Mottahar, translation date unknown.
[2] U.S. Dept. of State, Background Note: Yemen, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/35836.htm, Jan. 27, 2010.
[3] Mark Warren, The Death Penalty Worldwide: Estimated Death Row Populations, http://users.xplornet.com/~mwarren/global.htm, updated Jan. 1, 2011 (previously updated Aug. 6, 2010).
[4] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2010, p. 5, ACT 50/001/2011, Mar. 28, 2011.
[5] United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Human Rights and Democracy: The 2010 Foreign and Commonwealth Office Report, p. 344, March 2011.
[6] DPW Executions and Death Sentences Monitor.
[7] Amnesty International, Death sentences and executions in 2016, ACT 50/5740/2017, Apr. 11, 2017.
[8] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2015, ACT 50/3487/2016, Apr. 6, 2016.
[9] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2014, ACT 50/001/2015, Mar. 31, 2015.
[10] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, p. 50, ACT 50/001/2014, Mar. 26, 2014. Amnesty Intl., Yemeni authorities ‘ignored pleas’ to save prisoner from execution, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/yemeni-authorities-ignored-pleas-save-prisoner-execution-2013-02-13, Feb. 13, 2013.
[11] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2012, ACT 50/001/2012, Apr. 9, 2013.
[12] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, ACT 50/001/2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2012/en, Mar. 27, 2012.
[13] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2010, p. 5, ACT 50/001/2011, Mar. 28, 2011.
[14] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, p. 6, ACT 50/001/2010, Mar. 30, 2010.
[15] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2008, p. 8, ACT 50/003/2009, Mar. 24, 2009.
[16] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2007, p. 6, ACT 50/001/2008, Apr. 15, 2008.
[17] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2014, ACT 50/001/2015, Mar. 31, 2015.

Crimes and Offenders Punishable By Death

Crimes Punishable by Death

Aggravated Murder.
A court may pronounce a sentence of death for a murder that is brutal, in the furtherance of another crime, of a pregnant woman, of a public servant or if the offender is of “bad character” even if the victim’s family has pardoned the offender. Such murders carry the mandatory death penalty unless the victim’s family pardons the offender. [1]

Murder.
Murder carries the mandatory death penalty unless the victim’s family pardons the offender. [2]

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
Kidnapping resulting in death carries the death penalty. [3] Robbery involving petty sums, leading to injury, carries retributive or compensation penalties, but we are not sure that these would include death. [4] Banditry—putting people in public ways, places, structures or transports in fear of life or honor for any illegal purpose—carries a hadd death penalty if the offender kills someone; if associated with robbery, the offender’s body will be crucified after execution; participants in the robbery who do not participate in the killing are not to be executed. [5] Destruction of property, leading to death, carries the death penalty. [6] Perjury is, when resulting in the execution of an innocent, to be punished by the same sentence that innocent faced. [7] Resistance to military superiors (by military personnel), resulting in death, is punishable by death. [8]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Resulting in Death.
Offenses against public safety and resources, when resulting in death, carry the death penalty. [9]

Rape Not Resulting in Death.
Kidnapping in conjunction with adultery or homosexual acts carries the death penalty. [10]

Kidnapping Not Resulting in Death.
Kidnapping in conjunction with adultery or homosexual acts carries the death penalty. [11]

Drug Trafficking Resulting in Death.
Murdering or killing drug enforcement personnel in resisting the discharge of their function carries the death penalty. [12]

Drug Trafficking Not Resulting in Death.
Importing, exporting or manufacturing drugs with the intent to traffic carries the death penalty. [13] Possession, transactions or cultivation for the purpose of trafficking drugs, improper use of a license to possess narcotics, giving someone narcotics or preparing a place for the use of narcotics are punishable by death. [14]

Drug Possession.
Drug possession for the purpose of trafficking is punishable by death. [15]

Adultery.
Adultery carries the death penalty by stoning. [16] These punishments are predicated upon extreme evidentiary showings; otherwise, adultery cannot be punished by death. The witnesses have the power to pardon an adulterer by refusing to begin the stoning. [17] Reports suggest the death penalty for adultery is disused. [18]

Apostasy.
Apostates are to be questioned for repentance three times and given thirty days to return to Islam or denounce their disfavored opinions or actions; if they do not recant, they are to be executed. [19]

Consensual Sexual Relations Between Adults of Same Sex.
Homosexual sodomy carries the death penalty by stoning. [20] These punishments are predicated upon extreme evidentiary showings; otherwise, homosexual acts cannot be punished by death. [21] Reports suggest the death penalty for homosexual acts is disused. [22]

Treason.
Transgression is the crime of “outrageous” and forbidden rebellion against the state; it carries mandatory penalties. [23] The prescribed penalty is death in a variety of instances, such as: Acts aimed at undermining the independence, unity or territorial integrity of the State; undermining the defense; assisting the enemy; or inciting or participating in the aforementioned. Punishment may be waived for cooperation with authorities. [24] Participation in armed gang activity against the government, law enforcement or people, when resulting in death, carries the death penalty (and leniency for cooperation with authorities), although it is unclear whether leniency or pardon could also turn on a pardon by the victim’s family (for blood money or as an act of forgiveness). [25]

Espionage. [26]

Military Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Several military offenses not resulting in death carry the death penalty; they include cowardice, desertion or voluntary surrender in the field by personnel or surrender or abandonment of hostilities by any commander prior to the exhaustion of all means of resistance. [27]

Other Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Placing one’s wife or daughters into prostitution carries the death penalty when it is a repeat offense; a wife who consents to the repeat prostitution of her daughters is punished by death. [28]

Does the country have a mandatory death penalty?

Yes. The death penalty is mandatory for those facing retributive sentences for crimes such as murder; courts are forbidden to use discretion unless the family of the victim forgives the offender or accepts a payment of blood money. [29] Because this vests the decision to use discretion outside of the judiciary, it is an arbitrary, mandatory death penalty.

For offenses not carrying retributive penalties, it is more ambiguous whether the death penalty is mandatory. Article 493 of the Republican Decree Concerning Criminal Procedures indicates that hadd punishments may be altered for “religiously stipulated legitimate reasons;” [30] we do not know how broad a court’s discretion is in this regard. For some offenses (including adultery), a court applying Shari’a principles might rarely lack discretion to avoid the death penalty. [31]

The Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties further explains that acts penalized under the law (as opposed to acts already penalized as carrying retributive or hadd penalties) carry the penalty of “slandering,” [32] which is a discretionary penalty that, when in the form of the death penalty, can be reduced to 5 to 15 years imprisonment if there are mitigating factors. [33]

Yemen’s other criminal laws follow a similar approach. [34]

For Which Offenses, If Any, Is a Mandatory Death Sentence Imposed?

Aggravated Murder.
Yemeni law recognizes the concept of aggravated murder; a court may pronounce a sentence of death for a murder that is brutal, in the furtherance of another crime, of a pregnant woman, of a public servant or if the offender is of bad character even if the victim’s family has pardoned the offender. Such murders carry the mandatory death penalty unless the victim’s family pardons the offender. [35]

Murder.
Murder carries the mandatory death penalty unless the victim’s family pardons the offender. [36]

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
Banditry—putting people in public ways, places, structures or transports in fear of life or honor for any illegal purpose—carries a hadd death penalty if the offender kills someone; if associated with robbery, the offender’s body will be crucified after execution. Accomplices who do not participate in the killing are not to be executed. [37] Destruction of property, leading to death, carries the death penalty. [38]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Resulting in Death.
Offenses against public safety and resources, when resulting in death, carry the death penalty. [39] Some offenses that can be characterized as “transgression” carry mandatory death penalties; [40] otherwise, discretion is permitted if there are mitigating circumstances. [41] “Transgression” may be a loose translation or generalization about the statutory origins of this offense. “Contemporary scholars of Islamic Shari’a adopt the view that terrorism is included under the crime of hiraba, or waging war against God and his Apostle and making or spreading corruption on earth.” [42] Traditionally, the death penalty for “transgression” was simply an event that could occur in the course of subduing a rebellion, and judicial hadd penalties may only have applied in cases where something more egregious than revolt was involved—hiraba or spreading corruption on earth. [43]

Drug Trafficking Resulting in Death.
Murdering or killing drug enforcement personnel in resisting the discharge of their function carries the death penalty. [44] The law does not appear to permit discretion during sentencing. [45]

Adultery.
Adultery carries the hadd punishment of stoning. [46] These punishments are predicated upon extreme evidentiary showings; otherwise, adultery cannot be punished by death. The witnesses have the power to pardon an adulterer by refusing to begin the stoning. [47] Reports indicate that execution for adultery is disused in Yemen. [48] Courts applying religiously stipulated evidentiary requirements and exceptions may rarely lack discretion to avoid application of the death penalty for adultery. [49]

Apostasy.
Apostates are to be questioned for repentance three times and given thirty days to return to Islam or denounce their disfavored opinions or actions; if they do not recant, they are to be executed. [50] Because the possibility of avoiding the death sentence is vested entirely outside of the court, this is a mandatory death penalty.

Consensual Sexual Relations Between Adults of Same Sex.
Homosexual sodomy (by a married participant) carries the death penalty by stoning. [51] These punishments are predicated upon extreme evidentiary showings. [52] Although in limited circumstances the possibility of avoiding the death penalty is vested entirely outside of the court, constituting a mandatory death penalty, reports indicate that execution for consensual sexual offenses may be disused in Yemen. [53]

Treason.
Transgression is the crime of “outrageous” and forbidden rebellion against the state; it carries hadd penalties. [54] The prescribed penalty is death in a variety of instances, such as: Acts aimed at undermining the independence, unity or territorial integrity of the State; undermining the defense; assisting the enemy; or inciting or participating in the aforementioned. Punishment may be waived for cooperation with authorities. [55] Participation in armed gang activity against the government, law enforcement or people, when resulting in death, carries the death penalty (and leniency for cooperation with authorities), although we are unsure whether the family of the victim has a say in whether the offender is treated leniently. [56] “Transgression” may be a good translation of the statutory grounds for prosecuting treasonable offenses, and this is consistent with the fact that the hadd may be avoided by submitting to authorities. Some treasonable offenses that are punished more strictly might be similar to another hadd, such as hiraba. [57]

Espionage.
Espionage carries the death penalty as transgression (a hadd), [58] although this may be a poor description since espionage was traditionally a ta’zir offense. [59]

Comments.
The death penalty is often—almost always—described using mandatory language; however, discretion is permitted in the presence of mitigating circumstances for non-retributive, non-religious penalties. [60] We eliminated crimes such as the aggravated crime of rape in conjunction with kidnapping, recidivist pimping, military crimes and calumny; these are either not hadd offenses or the hadd penalty (such as for calumny) is not death.

Crimes For Which Individuals Have Been Executed Since January 2008:

Aggravated Murder.
September 2008: 1 execution for the murder of 5 policemen. [61]

July 2009: 1 execution for the rape and murder of a child. [62]

July 2010: 1 execution for rape and murder. [63]

Murder.
February 2009: 3 executions for murder. [64]

March 2009: 1 execution for murder. [65]

April 2009: 1 execution for murder. [66]

January 2010: 2 executions for murder. [67]

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
April 2008: 2 executions for “banditry.” [68]

Drug Trafficking Not Resulting in Death.
September 2008: 1 execution for drug trafficking. [69]

Categories of Offenders Excluded From the Death Penalty:

Individuals Below Age 18 At Time of Crime.
Under national law, the maximum penalty for an individual convicted of committing a death-eligible offense while under the age of 18 is ten years imprisonment. [70] Yemen is also a party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, [71] and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, [72] which prohibit the execution of individuals for crimes committed while under the age of 18. [73] Yemen is also party to the Arab Charter on Human Rights, [74] which prohibits such executions when not specifically prescribed by law. [75] In practice individuals who commit death eligible crimes while under the age of 18 can face execution—and this may be due to a lack of proper records for determining the age of offenders at the time of the crime. [76]

Pregnant Women.
Pregnant women cannot be executed until two years after giving birth, unless someone else is found to care for the child. [77] Yemen is also a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [78] and the Arab Charter on Human Rights, [79] which prohibit the execution of pregnant women. [80]

Women With Small Children.
A nursing mother cannot be executed until two years after she has ceased breast-feeding (presumptively, after the child is two years old), unless someone else is found to care for the child. [81] Yemen has ratified the Arab Charter on Human Rights, [82] which prohibits the execution of nursing mothers. [83]

Intellectually Disabled.
Intellectually disabled persons may be found incapable of standing trial; additionally, they may be committed to an institution if a court determines that they cannot be held criminally liable for a serious crime. [84]

Mentally Ill.
Mentally ill persons may be found incapable of standing trial; additionally, they may be committed to an institution if a court determines that they cannot be held criminally liable for a serious crime. [85]

References

[1] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 234, 235, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[2] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 234, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[3] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 249, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[4] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, arts. 38, 301, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[5] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, arts. 306-307(iii&iv), 309, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[6] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 321, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[7] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 179, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[8] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 226, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[9] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 137-141, Law No. 12 of 1994. These are “transgression” offenses, which could alternatively be characterized as treason or armed rebellion. Cherif Bassiouni, Crimes and the Criminal Process, p. 278, Arab Law Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 3, 1997.
[10] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 249, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[11] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, arts. 249, 250, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[12] Yemen Law on the Control of Illicit Trafficking in the Abuse of Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances, arts. 41, 42, No. 3 of 1993.
[13] Yemen Law on the Control of Illicit Trafficking in the Abuse of Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances, art. 33, No. 3 of 1993.
[14] Yemen Law on the Control of Illicit Trafficking in the Abuse of Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances, arts. 34-35, No. 3 of 1993.
[15] Yemen Law on the Control of Illicit Trafficking in the Abuse of Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances, arts. 34, No. 3 of 1993.
[16] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 263, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[17] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, arts. 266-267, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[18] U.N. CCPR, Human Rights Committee, Consideration of Reports Submitted by State Parties under Article 40 of the Covenant, Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee: Yemen, para. 15, U.N. Doc. CCPR/CO/84/YEM, Aug. 9, 2005.
[19] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 259, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[20] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 264, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[21] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 266-267, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[22] U.N. CCPR, Human Rights Committee, Consideration of Reports Submitted by State Parties under Article 40 of the Covenant, Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee: Yemen, para. 15, U.N. Doc. CCPR/CO/84/YEM, Aug. 9, 2005.
[23] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 12, 124, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[24] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, arts. 125-130, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[25] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 113, 132, 134, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[26] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 126, 128, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[27] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 227-228, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[28] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 280, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[29] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, arts. 13, 234, 235, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[30] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning the Criminal Procedures, art. 493, Law No. 13 of 1994.
[31] Cherif Bassiouni, Crimes and the Criminal Process, p. 280, Arab Law Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 3, 1997.
[32] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, footnote to Article 14, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[33] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, footnote to Article 109, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[34] Discretion is permitted for the non-religiously stipulated punishments associated with trafficking; however, discretion does not appear to be permitted in cases of murder (which requires a retributive punishment) or killing in the course of resisting authorities (which might be characterized in a couple mandatory categories). Yemen Law on the Control of Illicit Trafficking in the Abuse of Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances, arts. 37, 41-42, No. 3 of 1993; Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, arts. 12-13, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[35] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 234, 235, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[36] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 234, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[37] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, arts. 306-307(iii&iv), Law No. 12 of 1994.
[38] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 321, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[39] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 137-141, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[40] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 124, Law No. 12 of 1994. These offenses might be better characterized as treasonable offenses or armed rebellion. Cherif Bassiouni, Crimes and the Criminal Process, p. 278, Arab Law Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 3, 1997.
[41] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, arts. 14, 109, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[42] Muhammad Abdel Haleem, Adel Omar Sherif & Kate Daniels, eds., Criminal Justice in Islam: Judicial Procedure in the Shari’a, p. 41, I.B. Tauris & Co. Ltd., 2003.
[43] Khaled Abou El Fadl, Rebellion and Violence in Islamic Law, p 21, 234-320, 324-327, Cambridge University Press, 2001. This resource discusses at length the punishment of causing “corruption on earth” as opposed to simple “rebellion,” and comments briefly on the comprehensiveness of scholarship that compares the offense to terrorism.
[44] Yemen Law on the Control of Illicit Trafficking in the Abuse of Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances, arts. 41, 42, No. 3 of 1993.
[45] Discretion is permitted for the non-religiously stipulated punishments in Articles 33-36 associated with trafficking; however, there is no provision permitting discretion in the Article 42 case of murder (which requires a mandatory retributive punishment) or the Article 41 killing in the course of resisting authorities (which could be characterized in a few religious categories requiring a mandatory punishment). Yemen Law on the Control of Illicit Trafficking in the Abuse of Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances, arts. 37, 41, 42, No. 3 of 1993; Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, arts. 12, 13, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[46] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 263, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[47] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, arts. 266-267, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[48] U.N. CCPR, Human Rights Committee, Consideration of Reports Submitted by State Parties under Article 40 of the Covenant, Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee: Yemen, para. 15, U.N. Doc. CCPR/CO/84/YEM, Aug. 9, 2005.
[49] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning the Criminal Procedures, art. 493, Law No. 13 of 1994; Cherif Bassiouni, Crimes and the Criminal Process, p. 278, Arab Law Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 3, 1997.
[50] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 259, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[51] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 264, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[52] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 266-267, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[53] U.N. CCPR, Human Rights Committee, Consideration of Reports Submitted by State Parties under Article 40 of the Covenant, Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee: Yemen, para. 15, U.N. Doc. CCPR/CO/84/YEM, Aug. 9, 2005.
[54] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 12, 124, Law No. 12 of 1994; Cherif Bassiouni, Crimes and the Criminal Process, p. 278, Arab Law Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 3, 1997.
[55] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, arts. 125-130, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[56] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 113, 132, 134, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[57] Khaled Abou El Fadl, Rebellion and Violence in Islamic Law, p 21, 234-320, 324-327, Cambridge University Press, 2001. Other resources stating that rebels who fight until subdued (as opposed to until arrested) are subject to the death penalty as hadd could be interpreted as acknowledging that the ruler may kill a rebel who fights to the death. See, for example, M. Cherif Bassiouni, ed., The Islamic Criminal Justice System, p. 197-198, Oceana Publications, Inc., 1982.
[58] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 124, 126, 128, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[59] Tahir Mahmood, et. al., Criminal Law in Islam and the Muslim World: A Comparative Perspective, p. 92-93, Institute of Objective Studies, 1st. ed., 1996; Mohamed S. El-Awa, Punishment in Islamic Law: A Comparative Study, p. 108-110, American Trust Publications, 1982; M. Cherif Bassiouni, ed., The Islamic Criminal Justice System, p. 215, Oceana Publications, Inc., 1982.
[60] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, arts. 12-14, 09, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[61] Richard Clark, Executions in September 2008, http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/sep08.html, last accessed Sep. 10, 2010; Saba Net, Death Sentence for a Pakistani Drug Trafficker and a Yemeni Guilty of Murder, http://www.sabanews.net/fr/news164363.htm, Sep. 19, 2008.
[62] Richard Clark, Executions in July 2009, http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/july09.html, last accessed Sep. 10, 2010.
[63] Richard Clark, Executions in July 2010, http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/jul10.html, last accessed Sep. 10, 2010.
[64] Richard Clark, Executions in February 2009, http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/feb09.html, last accessed Sep. 10, 2010.
[65] Richard Clark, Executions in March 2009, http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/mar09.html, last accessed Sep. 10, 2010.
[66] Richard Clark, Executions in April 2009, http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/apr09.html, last accessed Sep. 10, 2010.
[67] Richard Clark, Executions in January 2010, http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/jan10.html, last accessed Sep. 10, 2010.
[68] Richard Clark, Executions in April 2008, http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/apr08.html, last accessed Sep. 10, 2010. Because banditry resulting in death is the only form of banditry that is death-eligible, it is probable that this report is about an offense that resulted in death. Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, arts. 306-307(iii&iv), Law No. 12 of 1994.
[69] Richard Clark, Executions in September 2008, http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/sep08.html, last accessed Sep. 10, 2010; Saba Net, Death Sentence for a Pakistani Drug Trafficker and a Yemeni Guilty of Murder, http://www.sabanews.net/fr/news164363.htm, Sep. 19, 2008.
[70] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 31, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[71] Status, Declarations and Reservations, Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1577 U.N.T.S. 3, Nov. 20, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=UNTSONLINE&tabid=2&mtdsg_no=IV-11&chapter=4&lang=en#Participants , last accessed Sep. 16, 2010.
[72] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Jun. 4, 2010.
[73] Status, Declarations and Reservations, Convention on the Rights of the Child, art. 37, 1577 U.N.T.S. 3, Nov. 20, 1989; ICCPR, art. 6(5), 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966.
[74] Mohammed Amin Al-Midani, The Enforcement Mechanisms of the Arab Charter on Human Rights and the Need for an Arab Court of Human Rights, ACIHL.org, http://www.acihl.org/articles.htm?article_id=22, Dec. 3, 2008. Yemen ratified the Charter by Act No. 45 of 2008. U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, National Report Submitted in Accordance with Paragraph 15(A) of the Annex to Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1, Yemen, p. 10, sec. 6(b), U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/5/YEM/1, Feb. 20, 2009.
[75] Revised Arab Charter on Human Rights, art. 7(1), 2004, translated by: Dr. Mohammed Amin Al-Midani and Mathilde Cabanettes, revised by Professor Susan M. Akram, Boston University International Law Journal Vol. 24, pp. 147-164, 2006.
[76] Amnesty Intl., Clemency Urged for Man Facing Imminent Execution in Yemen, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/clemency-urged-man-facing-imminent-execution-yemen-2011-01-18, Jan. 18, 2011.
[77] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning the Criminal Procedures, arts. 484, 487, Law No. 13 of 1994.
[78] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Jun. 4, 2010.
[79] Mohammed Amin Al-Midani, The Enforcement Mechanisms of the Arab Charter on Human Rights and the Need for an Arab Court of Human Rights, ACIHL.org, http://www.acihl.org/articles.htm?article_id=22, Dec. 3, 2008. Yemen ratified the Charter by Act No. 45 of 2008. U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, National Report Submitted in Accordance with Paragraph 15(A) of the Annex to Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1, Yemen, sec. 6(b), U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/5/YEM/1, Feb. 20, 2009.
[80] ICCPR, art. 6(5), 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966; Revised Arab Charter on Human Rights, art. 7(2), 2004, translated by: Dr. Mohammed Amin Al-Midani and Mathilde Cabanettes, revised by Professor Susan M. Akram, Boston University International Law Journal Vol. 24, pp. 147-164, 2006.
[81] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning the Criminal Procedures, arts. 484, 487, Law No. 13 of 1994.
[82] Mohammed Amin Al-Midani, The Enforcement Mechanisms of the Arab Charter on Human Rights and the Need for an Arab Court of Human Rights, ACIHL.org, http://www.acihl.org/articles.htm?article_id=22, Dec. 3, 2008. Yemen ratified the Charter by Act No. 45 of 2008. U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, National Report Submitted in Accordance with Paragraph 15(A) of the Annex to Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1, Yemen, sec. 6(b), U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/5/YEM/1, Feb. 20, 2009.
[83] Revised Arab Charter on Human Rights, art. 7(2), 2004, translated by: Dr. Mohammed Amin Al-Midani and Mathilde Cabanettes, revised by Professor Susan M. Akram, Boston University International Law Journal Vol. 24, pp. 147-164, 2006.
[84] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning the Criminal Procedures, arts. 279-283, Law No. 13 of 1994; Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 105, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[85] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning the Criminal Procedures, arts. 279-283, Law No. 13 of 1994; Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 105, Law No. 12 of 1994.

International Commitments

ICCPR

Party?

Yes. [1]

Date of Accession

Feb. 9, 1987 [2]

Signed?

No. [3]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

First Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, Recognizing Jurisdiction of the Human Rights Committee

Party?

No. [4]

Date of Accession

Not Applicable.

Signed?

No. [5]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, Toward the Abolition of the Death Penalty

Party?

No. [6]

Date of Accession

Not Applicable.

Signed?

No. [7]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

American Convention on Human Rights

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

Death Penalty Protocol to the ACHR

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR)

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

Protocol to the ACHPR on the Rights of Women in Africa

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

Arab Charter on Human Rights

Party?

Yes. [8]

Date of Accession

November 12, 2008. [9]

Signed?

Yes. [10]

Date of Signature

October 12, 2004. [11]

2016 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Vote

Against. [12]

2014 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [13]

Vote

Against. [14]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [15]

2012 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [16]

Vote

Against. [17]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [18]

2010 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [19]

Vote

Against. [20]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [21]

2008 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [22]

Vote

Against. [23]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [24]

2007 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [25]

Vote

Against. [26]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [27]

References

[1] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Jun. 4, 2010.
[2] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Jun. 4, 2010.
[3] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Jun. 4, 2010.
[4] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Jun. 4, 2010.
[5] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Jun. 4, 2010.
[6] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Second Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty, 1642 U.N.T.S. 414, Dec. 15, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-12&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Jun. 4, 2010.
[7] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Second Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty, 1642 U.N.T.S. 414, Dec. 15, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-12&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Jun. 4, 2010.
[8] Arab League, Statement of Signatures and Ratifications of the Arab Charter of Human Rights, http://www.lasportal.org/wps/wcm/connect/498481804a04776ea1d7bd526698d42c/%D8%AC%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84+%D8%AA%D8%B5%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%82+%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84+%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89+%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D9%8A%D8%AB%D8%A7%D9%82+%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A8%D9%8A+%D9%84%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82+%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D9%86%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%86.pdf?MOD=AJPERES (translated from Arabic by DPW), last accessed Apr. 7, 2014.
[9] Arab League, Statement of Signatures and Ratifications of the Arab Charter of Human Rights, http://www.lasportal.org/wps/wcm/connect/498481804a04776ea1d7bd526698d42c/%D8%AC%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84+%D8%AA%D8%B5%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%82+%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84+%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89+%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D9%8A%D8%AB%D8%A7%D9%82+%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A8%D9%8A+%D9%84%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82+%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D9%86%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%86.pdf?MOD=AJPERES (translated from Arabic by DPW), last accessed Apr. 7, 2014.
[10] Arab League, Statement of Signatures and Ratifications of the Arab Charter of Human Rights, http://www.lasportal.org/wps/wcm/connect/498481804a04776ea1d7bd526698d42c/%D8%AC%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84+%D8%AA%D8%B5%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%82+%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84+%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89+%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D9%8A%D8%AB%D8%A7%D9%82+%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A8%D9%8A+%D9%84%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82+%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D9%86%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%86.pdf?MOD=AJPERES (translated from Arabic by DPW), last accessed Apr. 7, 2014.
[11] Arab League, Statement of Signatures and Ratifications of the Arab Charter of Human Rights, http://www.lasportal.org/wps/wcm/connect/498481804a04776ea1d7bd526698d42c/%D8%AC%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84+%D8%AA%D8%B5%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%82+%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84+%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89+%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D9%8A%D8%AB%D8%A7%D9%82+%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A8%D9%8A+%D9%84%D8%AD%D9%82%D9%88%D9%82+%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D9%86%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%86.pdf?MOD=AJPERES (translated from Arabic by DPW), last accessed Apr. 7, 2014.
[12] U.N.G.A., 71st Session, Recorded Vote on A/C.3/71/L.27 Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty, Nov. 17, 2016.
[13] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 141, 144, U.N. Doc. A/69/488/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2014.
[14] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, 73rd Plenary Meeting, pp. 17-18, U.N. Doc. A/69/PV.73, Dec. 18, 2014.
[15] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, Note Verbale dated 28 July 2015, U.N. Doc. A/69/993, Jul. 29, 2015.
[16] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 95-96, U.N. Doc. A/67/457/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2012.
[17] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, 60th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16-17, U.N. Doc. A/67/PV.60, Dec. 20, 2012.
[18] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, Note Verbale dated 16 April 2013, U.N. Doc. A/67/841, Apr. 23, 2013.
[19] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, p. 5, U.N. Doc. A/65/456/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2010.
[20] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, 71st Plenary Meeting, pp. 18-19, U.N. Doc. A/65/PV.71, Dec. 21, 2010.
[21] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, Note Verbale dated 11 March 2011, U.N. Doc. A/65/779, Mar. 11, 2011.
[22] U.N.G.A., 63rd session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, U.N. Doc. A/63/430/Add.2, Dec. 4, 2008.
[23] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, 70th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16-17, U.N. Doc. A/63/PV.70, Dec. 18, 2008.
[24] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, Note Verbale dated 10 February 2009, U.N. Doc. A/63/716, Feb. 12, 2009.
[25] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, pp. 3-4, U.N. Doc. A/62/439/Add.2, Dec. 5, 2007.
[26] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, 76th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16- 17, U.N. Doc. A/62/PV.76, Dec. 18, 2007.
[27] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, Note Verbale dated 11 January 2008, U.N. Doc. A/62/658, Feb. 2, 2008.

Death Penalty In Law

Does the country’s constitution make reference to capital punishment?

The Constitution provides that no death sentence may be executed without the President’s endorsement. The Constitution also expressly adopts international human rights treaties, documents and principles that protect human rights. [1]

Does the country’s constitution make reference to international law?

Yemen’s Constitution provides that the republic shall adhere to the “UN Charter, the International Declaration of Human Rights, the Charter of the Arab League, and the principles of international law which are generally recognized.” [2]

Have there been any significant changes in the application of the death penalty over the last several years?

In 2009, executions doubled compared to previous years. [3] Reports indicate an upsurge in political dissidence, secessionism and violent insurgency; the government response has come at the cost of human rights protections, including the right to a fair trial. [4] In general, the political and human rights situation in Yemen can be characterized as involving ongoing public efforts by the executive and legislature to institute laws protecting internationally sensitive human rights accompanied by a failure to adequately implement human rights protections on the ground; this dynamic is reflected in the application of the death penalty. [5]

Is there currently an official moratorium on executions within the country?

Executions were ongoing in 2010. [6]

Have there been any significant published cases concerning the death penalty in national courts?

Although Yemeni law requires that verdicts must be accompanied by written reasoning, [7] we have not been able to locate any published cases. (They may exist; we simply cannot find them.)

Where can one locate or access judicial decisions regarding the death penalty?

We did not find any official or unofficial postings of the decisions of Yemeni courts. Standard online resources, such as GlobaLex, did not describe legal research resources in Yemen.

What is the clemency process?

No one may be executed without the endorsement of the death sentence by the President of the Republic. [8] Individuals can be pardoned or their death sentences commuted for religiously stipulated offenses and for offenses that inhere in legislation; however, for retributive punishments (such as for murder), the prerogative of mercy might be vested in the victim’s family, not the executive. [9] A recent call for clemency implies that, by 2011, the President’s power of clemency could extend to murder offenses. [10]

Are jury trials provided for defendants charged with capital offenses?

No. There are no jury trials and, reportedly, a criminal case may be tried before a single judge. [11]

Brief Description of Appellate Process

Primary Courts have jurisdiction over all penal cases. Appeals from the Primary Courts are to the Appeals Court. The prosecutor, defendant, or individual who is a party due to related civil claims (such as, presumably, a right to blood money compensation for murder) [12] may file an appeal against the judgment or sentence; individuals with civil claims are restricted to filing an appeal for their civil claims. The Appeals Courts may consider de novo questions of law and fact upon appeal of a judgment and may also make other determinations during the investigation and trial. Decisions of the Appeals Courts may be appealed to the Supreme Court, which considers only questions of procedure, jurisdiction, law and law as applied to the facts established by the courts below; all parties may appeal to the Supreme Court. In all cases where a sentence of death has been issued, the prosecutor must present the case to the Supreme Court with the prosecutor’s memorandum of opinion; the Court “may” review the case. At each stage of the appeals process, appeals must be filed in a short period of time after the lower court’s judgment. After that ordinary appeals process, a person sentenced to death may request review by the Supreme Court of his case based on new evidence or other factors related to his potential innocence; this extraordinary appeal is, by statute, limited to questions of guilt. [13]

Reportedly, unconstitutional special courts hear cases involving banditry, kidnapping, and crimes affecting the public safety; these crimes can carry the death penalty. Special courts also hear other cases and do not extend full rights to the accused. [14]

References

[1] The Constitution of the Republic of Yemen, art6, 48(b), 123, Feb. 20, 2001, translated by: Dr. Ahmed noman Al-Madhagi & Dr. Abdelrahman A. Abdrabou, revised by: Counselor Hossein ALI. Hubeishi & Dr. Mohammed M. Mottahar, translation date unknown. Yemen states that legislation protects the right to life and that the Constitution’s Article 48 prohibition of torture is related to the right to life, although it is unclear how far this extends past a protection against arbitrary extrajudicial action. U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, National Report Submitted in Accordance with Paragraph 15(A) of the Annex to Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1, p. 15, sec. 9(a), U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/5/YEM/1, Feb. 20, 2009.
[2] The Constitution of the Republic of Yemen, art. 6, Feb. 20, 2001, translated by: Dr. Ahmed noman Al-Madhagi & Dr. Abdelrahman A. Abdrabou, revised by: Counselor Hossein ALI. Hubeishi & Dr. Mohammed M. Mottahar, translation date unknown.
[3] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, p. 6, ACT 50/001/2010, Mar. 30, 2010; Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2008, p. 8, ACT 50/003/2009, Mar. 24, 2009; Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2007, p. 6, ACT 50/001/2008, Apr. 15, 2008.
[4] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Yemen, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136083.htm, Mar. 11, 2010; FIDH, Yemen: In the Name of National Security—Human Rights Violations in Yemen, Part III, FIDH No. 535(a), Jan. 26, 2010; U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Committee Against Torture, Consideration of Reports Submitted by State Parties under Article 19 of the Convention, Provisional Concluding Observations of the Committee Against Torture: Yemen, sec. 12, U.N. Doc. CAT/C/YEM/CO/2, Dec. 17, 2009.
[5] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, National Report Submitted in Accordance with Paragraph 15(A) of the Annex to Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1, sec. 9(b), U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/5/YEM/1, Feb. 20, 2009; FIDH, Yemen: In the Name of National Security—Human Rights Violations in Yemen, Part III, FIDH No. 535(a), Jan. 26, 2010; U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Committee Against Torture, Consideration of Reports Submitted by State Parties under Article 19 of the Convention, Provisional Concluding Observations of the Committee Against Torture: Yemen, sec. 12, U.N. Doc. CAT/C/YEM/CO/2, Dec. 17, 2009; Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Yemen, para. 91(55)-91(58), U.N. Doc. A/HRC/12/13, Jun. 5, 2009; U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, Committee on the Rights of the Child, Consideration of Reports Submitted by State Parties under Article 44 of the Convention, Concluding Observations: Yemen, paras. 8, 14, 24, 30-31, 39-40, 41-42, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/15/Add.267, Sep. 21, 2005; Amnesty Intl., Woman Faces Execution Following Political Interference in Her Case, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/news/yemeni-woman-faces-execution-following-political-interference-her-case-20090422, Apr. 22, 2009.
[6] Richard Clark, Executions in July 2010, http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/jul10.html, last accessed Sep. 10, 2010.
[7] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning the Criminal Procedures, arts. 231-236, 411-437, 457, Law No. 13 of 1994.
[8] The Constitution of the Republic of Yemen, art. 123, Feb. 20, 2001, translated by: Dr. Ahmed noman Al-Madhagi & Dr. Abdelrahman A. Abdrabou, revised by: Counselor Hossein ALI. Hubeishi & Dr. Mohammed M. Mottahar, translation date unknown.
[9] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, arts. 48, 50-51, Law No. 12 of 1994. We encountered some disagreement over whether the President’s clemency powers extended to religiously stipulated offenses not involving the rights of individuals, but the law explicitly provides as we describe.
[10] Amnesty Intl., Clemency Urged for Man Facing Imminent Execution in Yemen, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/clemency-urged-man-facing-imminent-execution-yemen-2011-01-18, Jan. 18, 2011; U.N. ICCPR, Human Rights Committee, Consideration of Reports Submitted by State Parties under Article 40 of the Covenant, Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee: Yemen, para. 15, U.N. Doc. CCPR/CO/84/YEM, Aug. 9, 2005; Cherif Bassiouni, Crimes and the Criminal Process, p. 282-283, Arab Law Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 3, 1997. The HRC report identifies the role of victim’s families as undermining the right to seek an executive pardon, while Amnesty calls for executive clemency. We do not know whether the family’s control of pardon is absolute, or whether there has been a change in law, or whether the President has the power to grant Amnesty’s request.
[11] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Yemen, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136083.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[12] Cherif Bassiouni, Crimes and the Criminal Process, p. 282-283, Arab Law Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 3, 1997.
[13] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning the Criminal Procedures, arts. 231-236, 411-437, 457, Law No. 13 of 1994.
[14] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Yemen, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136083.htm, Mar. 11, 2010; The Constitution of the Republic of Yemen, art. 150, Feb. 20, 2001, translated by: Dr. Ahmed noman Al-Madhagi & Dr. Abdelrahman A. Abdrabou, revised by: Counselor Hossein ALI. Hubeishi & Dr. Mohammed M. Mottahar, translation date unknown. The U.N. position is that these are extraordinary courts. U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Committee Against Torture, Consideration of Reports Submitted by State Parties under Article 19 of the Convention, Provisional Concluding Observations of the Committee Against Torture: Yemen, sec. 12, U.N. Doc. CAT/C/YEM/CO/2, Dec. 17, 2009.

Death Penalty In Practice

Where Are Death-Sentenced Prisoners incarcerated?

We believe that death-sentenced prisoners are held in Central Prisons (which exist in Sana’a, Al-Houdaida, Rada’a and possibly other locations) which are sometimes segregated into wards by gender (as in the prison in Sana’a, but not in Al-Houdaida), [1] beyond this, the prison population may not be segregated by offense or the penalty faced. [2] We believe that individuals may also be held under sentence of death in political security prisons (which exist in Al-Baida, Hadramout and possibly other locations, including illegally maintained secret facilities). [3]

Description of Prison Conditions

“Local and international observers reported prison conditions remained poor and did not meet internationally recognized standards.” Local monitors indicated degrading conditions due to an influx of prisoners. [4] Human rights defender Mr. Ahmed Saif Hashed, who in 2007 served on the Yemeni Parliament’s Freedom and Human Rights Committee, stated that prisoners in Yemen “are not separated on the basis of age, kind of crime or stage of proceedings. Others have completed their period of punishment and are still imprisoned…” This could indicate that prisoners are usually never segregated; it could also indicate that within the custodial facilities and other jails that are not Central Prison facilities, there is little effort to segregate pre-trial detainees or those held for less serious crimes. [5] Reports over the past few years have remarked on overcrowding, poor sanitation, lack of potable water, inadequate nutrition and at least some failures to provide medical care or facilities. [6] Torture and abuse are endemic in the Yemeni criminal justice system; [7] those held in Central Prison facilities have been tortured and women held under sentence of death have reportedly been raped by prison guards. [8] Human rights monitors have been prevented from visiting Political Security Prisons. [9]

Under Yemeni law, juveniles are not to be sentenced to death; [10] however, there are reliable reports that juvenile offenders are currently on death row. [11] Death sentences for juveniles stem from a failure to determine the offender’s age; [12] thus, juveniles sentenced to death may be held with adult offenders. The sexual abuse of juveniles in Yemeni prisons is a serious problem. [13]

The government-controlled Ministry of Human Rights claims that the Yemeni government implements recommendations for rectifying human rights abuses in prisons, including replacing prison authorities. [14] These claims, or the notion that they genuinely address human rights failures in Yemen, are inconsistent with observations about actual conditions in Yemen and with evidence that Yemeni authorities have resisted investigation by independent monitors, resorting to torture and intimidation—including possible attempts to seriously injure or assassinate human rights defenders. [15] Recently, some NGOs may have gained approved access to previously prohibited facilities. [16]

Evidence indicates that torture and other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment is prevalent in Yemeni prisons, and that death-sentenced prisoners experience this treatment or punishment or are exposed to an environment in which it is common.

Are there any known foreign nationals currently under sentence of death?

Reports by Mark Warren [17] and a news source [18] indicate that foreign nationals are on death row.

What are the nationalities of the known foreign nationals on death row?

Foreign nationals of Spain, the Ukraine, Russia, Pakistan and probably others are on death row in Yemen. [19]

Are there any known women currently under sentence of death?

Yes. Reports indicate that women have recently been held under sentence of death, although some of them have been released. . [20]

Are there any reports of individuals currently under sentence of death who may have been under the age of 18 at the time the crime was committed?

In its 2005 Concluding Observations on Yemen’s compliance with the ICCPR, the Human Rights Committee expressed concern that Hafez Ibrahim was on death row for a possible accidental killing committed when he was 16 years old, due to a failure to investigate his age. By 2010, reports indicated that Hafez had been pardoned in exchange for $126,000 after international intercession efforts convinced the family of the victim to show mercy. In 2009, Yemen supported recommendations of members of the Human Rights Council pursuant to the Universal Periodic Review of human rights in Yemen that it “take immediate steps to remove juvenile prisoners from death row” and take other measures to assure that individuals are not executed for crimes committed while under the age of 18. Yemen appears to have prohibited such death sentences and executions since 1994 at the latest, and the main factor in their occurrence may be evidentiary inadequacies or failures to investigate. [21] Authorities in 2011 stayed an execution while attempting to determine the age of an individual thought to have been under the age of 18 at the time of his offense. [22] As of April 22, 2010, Walid Haykal was held under a final sentence of death for a killing committed after confronting a gang that had repeatedly harassed his sister; he was 16 at the time of the killing. [23]

Those interested in updates on this topic should reference, at the least, a search of Amnesty's documents at amnesty.org. There were juveniles under sentence of death, or under jeopardy of such a sentence, during our research--and we have not accounted for all of them.

Comments regarding the racial/ethnic composition on death row

We did not find specific commentary on the racial or ethnic composition of death row. It should be noted that Yemen is embroiled in civil violence, civil war and insurgency, and is reported to deal harshly and arbitrarily with those suspected of association with political or armed opposition. [24]

Are there lawyers available for indigent defendants facing capital trials?

Yes. The Constitution guarantees the right to state-funded counsel for indigents at all stages of the investigation and before all courts. [25] In practice, Yemen sometimes fails to provide counsel to defendants facing serious charges. [26]

Are there lawyers available for indigent prisoners on appeal?

Yes. The Constitution guarantees the right to state-funded counsel for indigents at all stages of the investigation and before all courts. [27] In practice, Yemen sometimes fails to provide counsel to defendants facing serious charges; [28] this failure could pervade before all courts.

Comments on Quality of Legal Representation

Human rights defenders face reprisals, including assassination attempts and retaliatory detention and charges on potentially capital offenses. [29] In some cases, courts prevent attorneys from providing effective representation by prohibiting their access to critical evidence, and attorneys may not be able to protect their clients by excluding evidence obtained through torture. [30] While the government has undertaken to modernize legal education, [31] the government may also be failing to provide an environment in which effective representation is likely.

Other Comments on Criminal Justice System

Yemen’s National Report to the Human Rights Council in preparation for the Universal Periodic Review of human rights in Yemen discussed ongoing efforts to increase the independence and efficiency of the judiciary. Efforts included Act No. 15 of 2006, separating the office of the President of the Judiciary from that of the President of the Republic, promoting judicial oversight of the judiciary, modernizing legal education (including the training of female judges) and addressing comments of the Human Rights Committee on compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. [32]

These efforts may be somewhat undermined by some other laws and actual practice in Yemen. Since 1999, defendants facing a number of serious criminal charges have been tried before the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC); this jurisdiction reportedly expanded in 2004 to cover vaguely defined offenses against national security, and some reports indicate that the SCC may fail to limit its jurisdiction according to law. [33] Individuals currently before the court include journalists facing charges of revealing military secrets and affecting military troops in a newspaper article; [34] these are capital offenses in Yemen. [35] In May of 2009, special courts began hearing a number of media-related cases. [36] These courts have failed to enforce protections against torturing the accused, have failed to assure that trials before the court are fair and fairly conducted, and have actively violated defendants’ rights to fair trials by prohibiting counsel from accessing critical evidence in preparing a defense. [37] Individuals (though not media personnel) have been sentenced to death by the SCC. [38]

One report suggests that Yemeni authorities, justifying their actions by referring to terrorism and other security threats, generally ignore constitutional protections (such as the incorporation of international human rights, the prohibition against torture, and the prohibition against exceptional courts) [39] The U.N. Committee Against Torture has denounced the SCC as a court of exceptional jurisdiction and called for its dissolution; [40] multiple reports suggest that torture and impunity are endemic throughout Yemen’s criminal justice system. [41]

At least one human rights monitor reports that in recent years Yemen has arbitrarily detained, disappeared, tortured, and then prosecuted political opponents, independent journalists and human rights defenders on falsified charges of terrorism and sedition. [42] They report reprisals against human rights defenders, including assassination attempts and detention on potentially capital charges in retaliation for activities in defense of human rights. [43]

Yemen’s judiciary is weak, subject to interference, intimidation and corruption, and government refusals to honor its judgments; it lacks true independence. [44] The forgoing facts suggest a serious disregard for safeguards in the application of the death penalty and call into question the legal legitimacy of capital convictions and executions in Yemen.

References

[1] Jane Novak, Exclusive Interview: Yemeni MP Ahmed Said Hashed—“There Are No Human Rights In Yemen,” Global Politician, http://www.globalpolitician.com/23736-yemen, Nov. 14, 2007; Eric Beauchemin, Women on Death Row in Yemen—Documentary Film, http://www.wunrn.com/news/2008/10_08/10_27_08/102708_yemen.htm, Jul. 23, 2008. Mr. Beauchemin’s article indicates that a woman was held under sentence of death in a woman’s ward in Sana’a Central Prison, suggesting that the Central Prison facilities named in Ms. Novak’s article may be those where death-sentenced prisoners are held. Some regions lack women’s facilities; there, they are housed in alternative sites.
[2] Jane Novak, Exclusive Interview: Yemeni MP Ahmed Said Hashed—“There Are No Human Rights In Yemen,” Global Politician, http://www.globalpolitician.com/23736-yemen, Nov. 14, 2007.
[3] Jane Novak, Exclusive Interview: Yemeni MP Ahmed Said Hashed—“There Are No Human Rights In Yemen,” Global Politician, http://www.globalpolitician.com/23736-yemen, Nov. 14, 2007. Mr. Hashed indicated that individuals are held in political security prisons, including illegal detention facilities; these individuals could be held pre-conviction or post-conviction; political security offenses can be death-eligible. Amnesty Intl., Yemen: Submission to the Universal Periodic Review, p. 7, MDE 31/012/2008, Nov. 10, 2008.
[4] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Yemen, Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136083.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[5] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Yemen, Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136083.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[6] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Yemen, Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136083.htm, Mar. 11, 2010; Jane Novak, Exclusive Interview: Yemeni MP Ahmed Said Hashed—“There Are No Human Rights In Yemen,” Global Politician, http://www.globalpolitician.com/23736-yemen, Nov. 14, 2007.
[7] U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Committee Against Torture, Consideration of Reports Submitted by State Parties under Article 19 of the Convention, Provisional Concluding Observations of the Committee Against Torture: Yemen, paras. 8, 28, U.N. Doc. CAT/C/YEM/CO/2, Dec. 17, 2009; Jane Novak, Exclusive Interview: Yemeni MP Ahmed Said Hashed—“There Are No Human Rights In Yemen,” Global Politician, http://www.globalpolitician.com/23736-yemen, Nov. 14, 2007.
[8] Jane Novak, Exclusive Interview: Yemeni MP Ahmed Said Hashed—“There Are No Human Rights In Yemen,” Global Politician, http://www.globalpolitician.com/23736-yemen, Nov. 14, 2007; Eric Beauchemin, Women on Death Row in Yemen—Documentary Film, http://www.wunrn.com/news/2008/10_08/10_27_08/102708_yemen.htm, Jul. 23, 2008.
[9] Jane Novak, Exclusive Interview: Yemeni MP Ahmed Said Hashed—“There Are No Human Rights In Yemen,” Global Politician, http://www.globalpolitician.com/23736-yemen, Nov. 14, 2007; U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Yemen, Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136083.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[10] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 31, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[11] Nadia Al-Sakkaf, Campaign to Prevent Juveniles from being Executed, Yemen Times, http://www.yementimes.com/defaultdet.aspx?SUB_ID=33920, Apr. 22, 2010; Eric Beauchemin, Women on Death Row in Yemen—Documentary Film, http://www.wunrn.com/news/2008/10_08/10_27_08/102708_yemen.htm, Jul. 23, 2008.
[12] U.N. ICCPR Human Rights Committee, Consideration of Reports Submitted by State Parties under Article 40 of the Covenant, Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee: Yemen, para. 15, U.N. Doc. CCPR/CO/84/YEM, Aug. 9, 2005; Amnesty Intl., I Owe My Life to Amnesty International, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/i-owe-my-life-amnesty-international-2010-04-09, Apr. 9, 2010; U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Yemen, para. 91(55)-91(58), U.N. Doc. A/HRC/12/13, Jun. 5, 2009; Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 31, Law No. 12 of 1994; U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child Committee on the Rights of the Child, Consideration of Reports Submitted by State Parties under Article 44 of the Convention, Concluding Observations: Yemen, paras. 8, 14, 24, 30-31, 39-40, 41-42, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/15/Add.267, Sep. 21, 2005.
[13] Jane Novak, Exclusive Interview: Yemeni MP Ahmed Said Hashed—“There Are No Human Rights In Yemen,” Global Politician, http://www.globalpolitician.com/23736-yemen, Nov. 14, 2007.
[14] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Yemen, Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136083.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[15] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Yemen, Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136083.htm, Mar. 11, 2010 (reference the lack of access to Political Security Organizations and the International Red Cross’s refusal to continue Yemeni-controlled investigations); Jane Novak, Exclusive Interview: Yemeni MP Ahmed Said Hashed—“There Are No Human Rights In Yemen,” Global Politician, http://www.globalpolitician.com/23736-yemen, Nov. 14, 2007 (refusal of access, torture, murder of the interviewee’s driver). There are numerous reports of attacks and intimidation against independent voices on human rights issues. U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Written Statement Submitted by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, a Non-Governmental Organization in Special Consultative Status, pp. 2-3, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/14/NGO/24, May 21, 2010; Amnesty Intl., Yemen: Submission to the Universal Periodic Review, p. 7, MDE 31/012/2008, Nov. 10, 2008; Al Karama, Yemen: Universal Periodic Review, 5th Session, sec. 3, Nov. 3, 2008; U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Leandro Despouy, paras. 348-349, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/8/4/Add.1, May 28, 2008.
[16] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Yemen, Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136083.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[17] Mark Warren, Foreigners Under Sentence of Death Worldwide, http://users.xplornet.com/~mwarren/world.html, May 7, 2010.
[18] Dawn.com, Yemen Court Upholds Death Sentence Against Two Pakistanis, http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/yemen-court-upholds-death-sentence-against-two-pakistanis-760, Jun. 27, 2010.
[19] Mark Warren, Foreigners Under Sentence of Death Worldwide, http://users.xplornet.com/~mwarren/world.html, May 7, 2010; Dawn.com, Yemen Court Upholds Death Sentence Against Two Pakistanis, http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/yemen-court-upholds-death-sentence-against-two-pakistanis-760, Jun. 27, 2010.
[20] Eric Beauchemin, Women on Death Row in Yemen—Documentary Film, http://www.wunrn.com/news/2008/10_08/10_27_08/102708_yemen.htm, Jul. 23, 2008; Amnesty Intl., Woman Faces Execution Following Political Interference in Her Case, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/news/yemeni-woman-faces-execution-following-political-interference-her-case-20090422, Apr. 22, 2009; Human Rights Watch, Yemen: Events of 2008, http://www.hrw.org/en/node/79308, Jan. 2009; U.N.G.A. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, Report, para. 379, U.N. Doc. A/63/38, 2008; AFP, Yemen Child Marriage Ban Row Escalates, Gulf Times, http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=350570&version=1&template_id=37&parent_id=17, Mar. 23, 2010.
[21] Amnesty Intl., I Owe My Life to Amnesty International, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/i-owe-my-life-amnesty-international-2010-04-09, Apr. 9, 2010; U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Yemen, paras. 91(55), 91(56), 91(58), U.N. Doc. A/HRC/12/13, Jun. 5, 2009; Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 31, Law No. 12 of 1994; U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child Committee on the Rights of the Child, Consideration of Reports Submitted by State Parties under Article 44 of the Convention, Concluding Observations: Yemen, paras. 8, 14, 24, 30-31, 39-40, 41-42, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/15/Add.267, Sep. 21, 2005.
[22] Amnesty Intl., Clemency Urged for Man Facing Imminent Execution in Yemen, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/clemency-urged-man-facing-imminent-execution-yemen-2011-01-18, Jan. 18, 2011.
[23] Nadia Al-Sakkaf, Campaign to Prevent Juveniles from being Executed, Yemen Times, http://www.yementimes.com/defaultdet.aspx?SUB_ID=33920, Apr. 22, 2010.
[24] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Written Statement Submitted by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, a Non-Governmental Organization in Special Consultative Status, pp. 2-3, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/NGO/65, Feb. 23, 2010; Alkarama, Yemen: Universal Periodic Review, sec. 3, http://en.alkarama.org/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_view&gid=275&limit=25&limitstart=0&order=name&dir=DESC&Itemid=80, Nov. 3, 2008; Intl. Federation for Human Rights, Yemen: In the Name of National Security… Human Rights Violations in Yemen, N° 535a, Jan. 26, 2010. Part III discusses some specific instances of ethnic targeting.
[25] The Constitution of the Republic of Yemen, art. 49, Feb. 20, 2001, translated by: Dr. Ahmed noman Al-Madhagi & Dr. Abdelrahman A. Abdrabou, revised by: Counselor Hossein ALI. Hubeishi & Dr. Mohammed M. Mottahar, translation date unknown.
[26] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Yemen, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136083.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[27] The Constitution of the Republic of Yemen, art. 49, Feb. 20, 2001, translated by: Dr. Ahmed noman Al-Madhagi & Dr. Abdelrahman A. Abdrabou, revised by: Counselor Hossein ALI. Hubeishi & Dr. Mohammed M. Mottahar, translation date unknown.
[28] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Yemen, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136083.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[29] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Written Statement Submitted by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, a Non-Governmental Organization in Special Consultative Status, pp. 2-3, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/14/NGO/24, May 21, 2010; Amnesty Intl., Yemen: Submission to the Universal Periodic Review, p. 7, MDE 31/012/2008, Nov. 10, 2008; Alkarama, Yemen: Universal Periodic Review, sec. 3, http://en.alkarama.org/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_view&gid=275&limit=25&limitstart=0&order=name&dir=DESC&Itemid=80, Nov. 3, 2008; U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Leandro Despouy, paras. 348-349, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/8/4/Add.1, May 28, 2008.
[30] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Yemen, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136083.htm, Mar. 11, 2010; Intl. Federation for Human Rights, Yemen: In the Name of National Security… Human Rights Violations in Yemen, Part III, N°535a, Jan. 26, 2010; U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Committee Against Torture, Consideration of Reports Submitted by State Parties under Article 19 of the Convention, Provisional Concluding Observations of the Committee Against Torture: Yemen, sec. 12, U.N. Doc. CAT/C/YEM/CO/2, Dec. 17, 2009.
[31] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, National Report Submitted in Accordance with Paragraph 15(A) of the Annex to Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1, sec. 9(b), U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/5/YEM/1, Feb. 20, 2009.
[32] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, National Report Submitted in Accordance with Paragraph 15(A) of the Annex to Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1, sec. 9(b), U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/5/YEM/1, Feb. 20, 2009.
[33] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Yemen, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136083.htm, Mar. 11, 2010; Intl. Federation for Human Rights, Yemen: In the Name of National Security… Human Rights Violations in Yemen, Part III, N°535a, Jan. 26, 2010; U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Committee Against Torture, Consideration of Reports Submitted by State Parties under Article 19 of the Convention, Provisional Concluding Observations of the Committee Against Torture: Yemen, sec. 12, U.N. Doc. CAT/C/YEM/CO/2, Dec. 17, 2009.
[34] Intl. Federation for Human Rights, Yemen: In the Name of National Security… Human Rights Violations in Yemen, Part III, N°535a, Jan. 26, 2010.
[35] For examples of offenses that could be tried before these special courts, see Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, arts. 125-130, 137-141, 306-307(iii&iv), Law No. 12 of 1994.
[36] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Yemen, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136083.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[37] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Yemen, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136083.htm, Mar. 11, 2010; Intl. Federation for Human Rights, Yemen: In the Name of National Security… Human Rights Violations in Yemen, Part III, N°535a, Jan. 26, 2010; U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Committee Against Torture, Consideration of Reports Submitted by State Parties under Article 19 of the Convention, Provisional Concluding Observations of the Committee Against Torture: Yemen, sec. 12, U.N. Doc. CAT/C/YEM/CO/2, Dec. 17, 2009.
[38] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Leandro Despouy, paras. 347-351, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/8/4/Add.1, May 28, 2008. It should be noted that the individual discussed appears, from the reports, to have been engaged in a grave terrorist offense. Still, the right to a fair trial does not evaporate.
[39] The Constitution of the Republic of Yemen, arts. 6, 48(b), 150, Feb. 20, 2001, translated by: Dr. Ahmed noman Al-Madhagi & Dr. Abdelrahman A. Abdrabou, revised by: Counselor Hossein ALI. Hubeishi & Dr. Mohammed M. Mottahar, translation date unknown.
[40] U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Committee Against Torture, Consideration of Reports Submitted by State Parties under Article 19 of the Convention, Provisional Concluding Observations of the Committee Against Torture: Yemen, para. 17, U.N. Doc. CAT/C/YEM/CO/2, Dec. 17, 2009.
[41] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Yemen, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136083.htm, Mar. 11, 2010; Intl. Federation for Human Rights, Yemen: In the Name of National Security… Human Rights Violations in Yemen, Part III, N°535a, Jan. 26, 2010; U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Committee Against Torture, Consideration of Reports Submitted by State Parties under Article 19 of the Convention, Provisional Concluding Observations of the Committee Against Torture: Yemen, generally, U.N. Doc. CAT/C/YEM/CO/2, Dec. 17, 2009.
[42] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Written Statement Submitted by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, a Non-Governmental Organization in Special Consultative Status, p. 2, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/NGO/65, Feb. 23, 2010.
[43] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Written Statement Submitted by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, a Non-Governmental Organization in Special Consultative Status, pp. 2-3, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/14/NGO/24, May 21, 2010; Amnesty Intl., Yemen: Submission to the Universal Periodic Review, p. 7, MDE 31/012/2008, Nov. 10, 2008; Alkarama, Yemen: Universal Periodic Review, sec. 3, http://en.alkarama.org/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_view&gid=275&limit=25&limitstart=0&order=name&dir=DESC&Itemid=80, Nov. 3, 2008; U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Leandro Despouy, paras. 348-349, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/8/4/Add.1, May 28, 2008.
[44] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Yemen, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136083.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.

Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies

Decisions of Human Rights Committee

In 2005, the Human Rights Committee issued Concluding Observations and Recommendations pursuant to its periodic review of human rights in Yemen. The Committee expressed concern that Yemen continue efforts to reform the judiciary and assure its independence; create an independent human rights monitor; abolish legislation mitigating penalties for honor killings; assure that non-derogable rights such as the rights to life, non-arbitrariness, a fair trial, and humane treatment were respected in combating terrorism; formally abolish stoning (so that women do not temporarily face such sentences); assure equality in the right to seek pardon (particularly in cases where the power to pardon is invested in the victim’s kin, who may demand blood money); and limit application of the death penalty to the most serious crimes in accordance with Article 6 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights. [1]

Decisions of Other Human Rights Bodies

In 2009, Yemen accepted recommendations of members of the Human Rights Council pursuant to the Universal Periodic Review of human rights in Yemen that it take measures to remove juvenile prisoners from death row, comply with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (including the prohibition against pronouncing death sentences on individuals for crimes committed prior to reaching the age of 18), review its treatment of minors and mentally disabled persons with regard to the death penalty, and assure that counter-terrorism efforts are carried out in compliance with international law regarding human rights. [2] Yemen rejected recommendations that it institute a moratorium on executions and the death penalty, reduce the number of capital offenses and join the Optional Protocol with a view towards abolishing the death penalty. [3] Yemen accepted Sudan’s recommendation that it continue to treat application of the death penalty as a subject that does not fall within international norms. [4] .

In 2005, the Committee on the Rights of the Child expressed concern about executions of juveniles and death sentences pronounced on individuals for crimes committed while under the age of 18, emphasizing that Yemen’s data collection approach or capacity is insufficient to guarantee the legal protections that do exist for minors. [5] The Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers and the Committee Against Torture have expressed serious concerns about Yemen’s use of extraordinary courts, failure to protect the right to a fair trial, failure to protect individuals against arbitrary detention and torture and reprisals against human rights defenders. [6]

References

[1] U.N. ICCPR, Human Rights Committee, Consideration of Reports Submitted by State Parties under Article 40 of the Covenant, Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee: Yemen, paras. 6, 7, 12, 13, 15, U.N. Doc. CCPR/CO/84/YEM, Aug. 9, 2005.
[2] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Yemen, para. 91(55-58), 91(105-106), U.N. Doc. A/HRC/12/13, Jun. 5, 2009.
[3] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Yemen, para. 94(1, 3-9, 11) U.N. Doc. A/HRC/12/13, Jun. 5, 2009.
[4] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Yemen, para. 91(53), U.N. Doc. A/HRC/12/13, Jun. 5, 2009.
[5] U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child Committee on the Rights of the Child, Consideration of Reports Submitted by State Parties under Article 44 of the Convention, Concluding Observations: Yemen, paras. 8, 14, 24, 30-31, 39-40, 41-42, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/15/Add.267, Sep. 21, 2005.
[6] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Leandro Despouy, paras. 348-349, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/8/4/Add.1, May 28, 2008; U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Committee Against Torture, Consideration of Reports Submitted by State Parties under Article 19 of the Convention, Provisional Concluding Observations of the Committee Against Torture: Yemen, sec. 12, U.N. Doc. CAT/C/YEM/CO/2, Dec. 17, 2009.

Additional Sources and Contacts

Direct member(s) of World Coalition Against the Death Penalty

None.

Other non-governmental organizations and individuals engaged in advocacy surrounding the death penalty

Reprieve
PO Box 72054
London EC3P 3BZ
United Kingdom
Tel 020 7553 8140
Fax 020 7553 8189
info@reprieve.org.uk
http://www.reprieve.org.uk

Helpful Reports and Publications

Yemen’s Ministry of Human Rights issues reports online: http://www.mhryemen.org/index_en.php. Unfortunately, this site has been subject to internet hacking attacks, and its resources are not always accessible (this has also been the case with the government website at http://www.yemen.gov.ye/portal/).

The FIDH provides access to a number of reports; among them:

International Federation for Human Rights, Yemen: In the Name of National Security… Human Rights Violations in Yemen, N°535a, Jan. 26, 2010.

Sisters Arab Forum for Human Rights, Non-Governmental Organization’s Report on Status of Civil and Political Rights In Yemen Submitted to Human Rights Committee, http://www.fidh.org/Report-on-status-of-civil-political-rights-in, Aug. 2, 2005.

Sisters Arab Forum for Human Rights, Shadow Report on Children’s Rights in Yemen, http://www.fidh.org/Shadow-Report-on-Children-s-Rights-in-Yemen, Aug. 2, 2005.

Human rights monitors may submit reports to the Human Rights Council for its Universal Periodic Review of human rights in a state; these reports are compiled at: http://www.upr-info.org/database/. They include submissions such as:

Amnesty Intl., Yemen: Submission to the Universal Periodic Review, MDE 31/012/2008, Nov. 10, 2008.

Alkarama, Yemen: Universal Periodic Review, http://en.alkarama.org/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_view&gid=275&limit=25&limitstart=0&order=name&dir=DESC&Itemid=80, Nov. 3, 2008.

The U.N. Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights maintains a page on Yemen: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/MENARegion/Pages/YEIndex.aspx. The OHCHR maintains a database of U.N. body reports and charter reports; they include:

U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Leandro Despouy, paras. 348-349, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/8/4/Add.1, May 28, 2008;

U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Written Statement Submitted by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, a Non-Governmental Organization in Special Consultative Status, p. 2-3, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/14/NGO/24, May 21, 2010;

U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Written Statement Submitted by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, a Non-Governmental Organization in Special Consultative Status, p. 2-3, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/NGO/65, Feb. 23, 2010;

In reviewing this questionnaire, especially in considering the likelihood that we understood Yemeni statutes, we considered the following resources:

a. Al-Adl Journal online (multiple articles published by the Ministry of Justice, website is variable—use Google search).
b. Ali Akram Khan Sherwani, Impact of Islamic Penal Laws on the Traditional Arab Society, M.D. Publications Pvt. Ltd., 1993.
c. Dr. Nagaty Sanad, The Theory of Crime and Criminal Responsibility in Islamic Law: Shari’a, The Office of International Criminal Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1991.
d. Gerald E. Lampe, ed., Justice and Human Rights in Islamic Law, International Law Institute, 1997.
e. Khaled Abou El Fadl, The Culture of Ugliness in Modern Islam and Reengaging Morality, UCLA Journal of Islamic and Near Eastern Law, Vol. 2 p. 33, 2002-2003.
f. Khaled Abou El Fadl, The Death Penalty, Mercy and Islam: A Call for Retrospection, p. 73-105 in Erik C. Owens, et. al., eds., Religion and the Death Penalty: A Call for Reckoning, Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2004.
g. M. Cherif Bassiouni, Crimes and the Criminal Process, Arab Law Quarterly, Vol. 12 No. 3, p. 269, 1997.
h. M. Cherif Bassiouni, ed., The Islamic Criminal Justice System, Oceana Publications, Inc., 1982.
i. Mohamed S. El-Awa, Punishment in Islamic Law: A Comparative Study, American Trust Publications, 1982.
j. Muhammad Abdel Haleem et. al, Criminal Justice in Islam: Judicial Procedure in the Shari’a, I.B. Tauris & Co. Ltd., 2003.
k. Robert Postawko, Towards an Islamic Critique of Capital Punishment, UCLA Journal of Islamic and Near Eastern Law, Vol. 1 p. 269, 2002.
l. Rodolphe J.A. De Seife, The Shari’a: An Introduction to the Law of Islam, Austin & Winfield, 1994.
m. S. Mahmassani, Falsafat Al-Tashri Fi Al Islam, Translated by Farhat J. Ziadeh, E.J. Brill, 1961.
n. Tahir Mahmood et. al., Criminal Law in Islam and the Muslim World, Institute of Objective Studies, 1st ed., 1996.

Additional notes regarding this country

None.

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