PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 31/002/2009
06 February 2009
Further Information on UA 25/09 (MDE 31/001/2009, 30 January 2009) Imminent Execution
YEMEN Bashir Sultan Mohamed al-Ja’fari (m), aged 23
Bashir Sultan Mohamed al-Ja’fari, a soldier in the Yemeni army, has had his execution postponed, but may
face the death penalty in the next few days. He has exhausted all his appeals after being sentenced to death
Bashir Sultan Mohamed al-Ja’fari is detained in the military prison in the capital Sana’a. In August 2006, a
military court had sentenced him to pay diya (financial compensation, commonly referred to as "blood
money"), for the unintentional killing of a fellow soldier. However, in November 2007, a military appeal court
increased his sentence to death. The Military Division of the Supreme Court upheld his death sentence in
March 2008, and Yemen’s President ratified this sentence seven months later. His execution was scheduled
to be carried out on 28 January but has been postponed twice; in each case for a few days.
At least 13 individuals were executed in Yemen in 2008, and hundreds of prisoners are currently detained
under sentence of death.
Amnesty International has long-standing concerns about the use of the death penalty in Yemen, particularly
as death sentences are often passed after proceedings which fall short of international standards for fair trial.
Amnesty International acknowledges the right and responsibility of governments to bring to justice those
suspected of recognizably criminal offences, but is unconditionally opposed to the death penalty in all cases
as the ultimate cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment, and as a violation of the right to life.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Arabic, English or your own
- urging the President to commute Bashir Sultan Mohamed al-Ja’fari’s death sentence;
- acknowledging that the government has a right to bring to justice those responsible for criminal offences,
but expressing unconditional opposition to the death penalty;
- reminding the authorities that they are bound by international standards for fair trial in capital cases,
including the right to seek pardon or commutation of the sentence;
- urging the President to commute all outstanding death sentences and establish a moratorium on executions,
with a view to completely abolishing the death penalty.
His Excellency General ‘Ali ‘Abdullah Saleh
Office of the President of the Republic of Yemen
Republic of Yemen
Fax: + 967 127 4147
Salutation: Your Excellency