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UA 47/92 - The Republic of Yemen: flogging and amputations / legal concern: new Penal Code / Code of Criminal Procedure

, N° d'index: MDE 31/001/1992

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: MDE 31/01/92
Distr: UA/SC
UA 47/92 Flogging and Amputations/Legal Concern 13 February 1992
THE REPUBLIC OF YEMEN: New Penal Code/Code of Criminal Procedure
Amnesty International has recently learned that the Presidential Council of
the Republic of Yemen intends to issue a new Penal Code and Code of Criminal
Procedure by decree, sometime during the holy month of Ramadan, beginning on
5 March 1992. Amnesty International is gravely concerned that the new Penal
Code will provide for flogging and amputations to be imposed as penalties for
some offenses.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION:
The Republic of Yemen was forged out of the union between the People's Democratic
Republic of Yemen (PDRY) and the Yemen Arab Republic (YAR) on 22 May 1990.
At the time of unification, the parliaments of the former PDRY and YAR merged,
a new Constitution was approved and a Presidential Council was set up to oversee
the executive functions of the state during a 30-month transitional period,
which ends in November 1992. The Unity Agreement stipulated that during this
period the legal systems of the former YAR and PDRY would remain separate until
a common Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure are promulgated. Amputations
had previously been carried out in the YAR where Shari'a (Islamic Law) was
in force and amputation was one of the punishments for theft. In the former
PDRY, amputations and flogging were banned. The Constitution of the new Republic
of Yemen guarantees civil and political rights and Article 33 prohibits the
use of "inhuman methods" of punishment or the promulgation of laws allowing
such practices. The agreement on a common Penal Code for the Republic of Yemen
has been an obstacle to the merger of the legal systems of the former republics.
Amnesty International considers flogging and amputation to be cruel, inhuman
and degrading punishments which, as such, are prohibited internationally by
the United Nation's Convention against Torture or Other Cruel, Inhuman and
Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and by the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In 1990,
in accordance with the Unity Agreement, the Republic of Yemen became a State
Party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In November
1991 Yemen also became a State Party to the UN Convention against Torture,
without making any reservations to that treaty.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters:
- expressing concern at reports that the new Penal Code of the Republic of
Yemen, scheduled to be promulgated soon, includes the judicial punishments
of amputations and flogging;
- stating that the use of these punishments contravenes the spirit of the
Convention Against Torture, to which Yemen is a State Party, and to Article
33 of the Republic of Yemen's own constitution;
- urging that the Penal Code should not provide for these punishments to be
imposed or carried out.
Page 2 of UA 47/92
APPEALS TO:
His Excellency General 'Ali 'Abdullah Saleh
Chairman of the Presidential Council
San'a
The Republic of Yemen
Telegrams: President 'Ali 'Abdullah Saleh, San'a
Republic of Yemen
Faxes: + 967 1 262 017
Telexes: 2422 RIASAH YE
Salutation: Your Excellency
COPIES TO: diplomatic representatives of the Republic of Yemen in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 3 April 1992.

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