EXTERNAL AI Index: MDE 31/13/97
EXTRA 143/97 Fear of Imminent Execution 22 October 1997
YEMENMuhammad Hussein Ali al-Zandani, possibly under age 18
Muhammad Hussein Ali al-Zandani is at imminent risk of execution. He is reported
to have been scheduled for execution three times during the last three months.
He was given a stay of execution each time following appeals by his lawyer
and family for a review of his case, including on grounds of age.
Muhammad Hussein Ali al-Zandani was initially sentenced to death on murder
charges approximately one and a half years ago. His conviction and sentence
have since been upheld by the different courts of appeal, and were reportedly
ratified by the President of the Republic of Yemen in August 1997.
The penal code of Yemen prohibits the imposition of the death penalty against
those under the age of 18. However, the exact age of Muhammad Hussein Ali
al-Zandani is reported to have been subject to disagreement between the criminal
investigation police, the public prosecution and his lawyer and family. The
criminal investigation police reportedly stated he was 22. The public
prosecution is said to have said he was 19. His lawyer and family have argued
he is currently just under 18, and was 16 at the time of the offence.
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases as a violation
of the right to life and the ultimate form of torture. The imposition of such
a punishment on juveniles is strictly prohibited by Yemen law and international
human rights standards. If Muhammad Hussein Ali al-Zandani was indeed 16 at
the time of the offence, the imposition of the death penalty against him would
be a gross violation of Yemen law and international human rights standards.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/airmail
letters in Arabic/English or your own language:
- expressing concern that Muhammad Hussein Ali al-Zandani appears to be at
risk of imminent execution and urging commutation of the death sentence;
- drawing the president’s attention to the international prohibition of the
use of the death penalty against juveniles.
General ‘Ali Abdullah Saleh
President of the Republic of Yemen
Sana’a, The Republic of Yemen
Telegrams: President ‘Ali Abdullah Saleh, Sana’a, Republic of Yemen
Faxes: +967 1 262 017
Telexes: 2422 RIASAH YE
Salutation: Your Excellency
diplomatic representatives of Yemen accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY.