REPUBLIC OF YEMEN: Yemen: Urgent appeal to halt execution of child offender this Saturday

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9 Aug 2007
Topic: Abolition of the Death Penalty
Amnesty International today issued an urgent appeal to Yemen's President to halt the execution of a child offender, which is scheduled to be carried out this Saturday. In addition to writing to President 'Ali 'Abdullah Saleh, the organization has also issued an Urgent Action on behalf of the now 19-year-old man.
Hafez Ibrahim is facing almost certain execution when a current three-day "stay" expires on Saturday 11 August unless Yemen’s President 'Ali 'Abdullah Saleh steps in to stop the killing. In Yemen executions are usually carried out in prison by making the convicted person lie face down on the ground and shooting them through the heart with an automatic rifle.

Amnesty International, which opposes the death penalty in all instances, is especially alarmed at reliable reports that Hafez was under 18 years old at the time of the crime for which he was convicted and sentenced to death. Amnesty International is also concerned that he was convicted and sentenced on charges of murder following serious trial irregularities.

“We're urgently appealing to President Saleh to think again and stop this execution," said Amnesty International's Secretary General Irene Khan.

“We know that the President is aware of international concern that Yemen is on the verge of violating the ban on executing child offenders, and we sincerely hope that he will use his powers to stop this happening.”

Hafez's execution was scheduled for yesterday (Wednesday 8 August) but was stayed for three days on the orders of President Saleh following international appeals on behalf of the prisoner.

Amnesty International is particularly alarmed at the intention to execute Hafez Ibrahim as Yemen has for over a decade recognized the international ban on executing child offenders. In 1994 Yemen outlawed death sentences against those aged below 18 at the time of the crime (article 31 of the Penal Code, Law 12 of 1994).

Hafez Ibrahim was convicted of killing a Yemeni man, Sadiq 'Ali Ismail, on 3 August 2000 in the Governorate of Ta'z in Yemen, following a quarrel.

AI Index: MDE 31/011/2007
9 August 2007

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