YEMEN. MOTHER, 21, FACES FIRING SQUAD
April 30, 2005: European leaders are making desperate pleas to spare the life of a 21-year-old mother who is expected to face a firing squad in Yemen on May 2.
The lawyer for Amina Ali Abduladif will visit her in prison to break the news that her execution is imminent.
Mrs Abduladif was spared two years ago when she was facing her executioners and told them she was pregnant after being raped by a prison guard. But her lawyer, Shada Nasir, told The Times: âNow that her son has reached his second birthday the law here says the death sentence should be carried out.
âI donât know how I am going to tell her.â
Mrs Nasir said the authorities had also told her to remove the boy from the Sanaa womenâs prison as his mother was due to be taken back to her home village to face execution.
International pressure is mounting on Yemen to halt what Amnesty International has called âa barbaric sentenceâ. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: âWe are well aware of this case and the EU is urgently discussing the matter with a number of ministers in Yemen.â
Mrs Abduladif was convicted of murdering her husband when she was 16 and the mother of two daughters. There was no forensic science or other evidence and prosecutors in her home town, Mahaweet, relied on her confession which she says was tortured out of her.
Until now she has refused to identify the guard who raped her for fear of reprisals.
âShe is in a terrible state after spending five years in prison with a death sentence hanging over her, and now I have to take her son away from her and cannot accompany her on her last journey which she will travel alone,â Mrs Nasir said.
Her parents will not be allowed to see her.
Witnesses say her husband was killed by his cousin in a land dispute in January 1998 but their evidence was not presented to the court during Mrs Abduladifâs trial in May 1999.
She gave birth to her son in jail but Amnesty and other human rights groups have complained that she has been allowed to see little of her other children. The youngest girl was killed recently in a car crash.
Her lawyers say none of her family are willing to look after her son because of the shame of her being raped.
âI will have to take the boy to a safe house in Sanaa while we argue for a last-minute act of clemency,â Mrs Nasir said.
Only the direct intervention of Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Yemen President, can spare Mrs Abduladif. (Sources: Times Online, 30/04/2005)