Yemen reviewed by the UPR
Tuesday, 12 May 2009 05:32


On 11 May Yemen presented its report to the Working Group for the universal periodic review. There were over 60 States participating in the interactive dialogue and the standard of comments indicated a high level of interest in the review. The Yemeni delegation consisted of the Minister for Human Rights, Ms Hudi Ali Alban, and a party of six officials, all of whom contributed to the dialogue in an informed manner. 


The dialogue focused on many themes, but some of the more salient remarks concerned the following topics:


  • Many States questioned the continued application of the death penalty in Yemen. The relevant General Assembly resolutions concerning a moratorium were referred to, and it was repeatedly recommended that such a moratorium be implemented in Yemen. However, some States recommended merely limiting as much as possible the continued use of the penalty. Yemen was mostly silent on the subject and only towards the end did it state that its application was strictly safeguarded against misuse. Egypt seemed to offer its tacit support to the State in this regard with its now almost-customary recommendation that the State ‘continue to resist attempts to enforce any human rights beyond the universally agreed ones'.
  • In relation to this, particular concern was noted for the practice of juvenile death sentences, the last of which being carried out as recently as 2007. Other areas of concern involving the rights of the child included the practice of smuggling children out of the country, inadequate education provision for all children, especially those in rural areas, and the need to provide health care for all.
  • Women's rights dominated much of the dialogue, with both the delegation and States from the floor addressing the issue. It was recommended that new laws on the minimum age for marriage be implemented and enforced rigorously. Of further concern was the problem of female genital mutilation, as well as the fundamental problem of discrimination. Recommendations varied from the specific - such as allowing greater access to employment and amending laws on inheritance - to the more general, such as addressing the inherent socio-cultural imbalance between men and women.
  • Arbitrary arrest and detention were also highlighted as issues which clearly need to be addressed more comprehensively by Yemen. States recommended that access to prisons be granted to international organisations such as the ICRC, and all aspects of prison conditions be improved.
  • Freedom of the press was also raised. States were keen to emphasise the importance of an independent media. Yemen said that the majority of the press is allowed to function without hindrance, with just a few cases where journalists had ‘overstepped the mark'. One particular recommendation was to amend the current Press Act to protect the freedom of expression more explicitly.


Last Updated on Friday, 04 September 2009 09:28
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