500 CHILDREN IN PRISONS ACROSS YEMEN, NINE FACE DEATH PENALTY
January 21, 2007: some 500 children are currently in Yemeni prisons, often alongside adult criminals, says a new report on children, released by the Rights and Freedoms Committee of the Consultative Council. Nine children from various governorates have been sentenced to death, though they are under the age of 18, says the report.
A total of 109 juveniles have been accused of serious crimes, including murder, manslaughter, and attempted murder. Forty-three of these children are between the ages of 12 and 15. Some 66 children are between 16 and 18.
The report criticized the way courts view the children as criminals, and said this resulted from the lack of specialised juvenile judges and prosecutors in some governorates. It also highlighted the need for female juveniles to be guarded by female police in all prisons. âThe policemen are not trained how to deal with juveniles.â
The report also stated that many juveniles are held in crowded prisons in unhealthy and inhuman conditions, which risks their health. (Sources: NewsYemen, 21/01/2007, Yemen Observer, 23/01/2007)