Comparative law and justice/Yemen

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Dmccarthy 8039 22:50, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Basic Information[edit | edit source]

Demographic Characteristics- (Information from 2010)

Population- 23,495,361

Age Structure of Citizens-

0-14 years: 43.9% (male 5,108,423/female 4,925,523)
15-64 years: 53.5% (male 6,215,999/female 6,013,334)
65 years and older: 2.6% (male 285,752/ female 309,207)

Median Age-

Male: 17.9 years
Female:18 years

Population Growth Rate- 2.713%

Great Migration Rate- 0/1,000 people

Urbanization- 31% of population

Geographical Information

Coordinates- 15.00 North, 48.00 East

Region- Middle East

Continent- Asia

Total Landmass- 527,968

  • 0 sq. km. water
  • Compares to twice the size of Wyoming (U.S.)

Land Bordering Other Countries- 1,906km.

Neighboring Countries-

Oman to the East
Saudi Arabia to the North

Neighboring Seas-

Arabian Sea to the South
Gulf of Aden to the South
Red Sea to the West

Climate- Yemen has a hot, desert like atmosphere throughout much of the region, especially in the east. There is humidity along the west coast, bordering the Red Sea, and seasonal monsoons occur in the mountains.[1]

Terrain- The country has many different types of landscapes and landforms. There are coastal plains in the west, and southwest, which carry a climate from hot in lower elevations, and cool in higher elevations. Agriculture is cultivated in the Coastal Plain Region. There is the Yemen Mountain Massif, where western and southern sides recieve more rainfall than the east. The Eastern Plateau Region is generally hot and receives little rainfall. The Ramlat as Sabatayn sand desert is in between the Eastern Plateau and the Yemen Mountain Massif, and the Rub Al Khali desert is in the north, reaching into Saudi Arabia. There are also many islands that belong to Yemen, one of the most popular is the Island of Socotra.[2]

Large Cities-

Capital: Sanea- Population 1,937,451
Al Hudayda-Population 617,871
Ta'izz-Population 615,222[3]

About the People- The main ethnic groups of Yemen include mostly Arab, Afro-Arab, South Asians, and Europeans. The official language is Arabic, and although there is no official religion, the most popular are Muslim, including Shia and Sunni, Judaism, Christianity, and Hinduism.

Economics- 70% of government money comes from petroleum products from within the country's oil reserves.[4] The GDP, according to the World Bank was 26,365,250 million dollars in 2009. With a 35% unemployment rate, and around 45.2% poverty level, the Yemeni economy is suffering. With oil prices rising, however, the country may see a positive increase in money flow, but for how long?[5]

Health and Education

Birth Rate- 37.37 births/1,000 people

Death Rate- 7.24 deaths/1,000 people

Life Expectancy-

Total Population: 63.36
Male: 61.35
Female: 65.47

Birthrate- 4.81 children born/woman

Literacy Rates-

Total Population:50.2%

Educational Attendance-

Total: 9 Years
Male:11 Years
Female:7 Years[6]

Brief History

Yemen is a small country located in the Middle Eastern region of Asia. The territory is the home of rich culture and history dating back to the 10th Century B.C.[7] According to the CIA World Factbook, the Republic of Yemen was founded when the Yemen Arab Republic, or northern Yemen merged with the "Marxist-dominated Peoples Democratic Republic of Yemen," in 1990.[8] The territory of what is now Yemen, however, is a land that has been caught in an enormous amount of violence. In 1994, civil war broke out between the people of the north and south, and as a result, the northern Yemen Republic won, keeping Yemen unified.[9]

Governance[edit | edit source]

The Republic of Yemen’s legal system was established at the foundation of the country in May of 1990. Since then, President Marshal Ali Abdullah Saleh has been a primary leader the country, along with a constitution, until the present day.[10] The Republic of Yemen practices Islamic Shari’ah Law, a substantive based law system. Citizens of the country vote for members of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, along with individual local officials. Although there may be three branches of the government, the Yemeni government differs greatly from governmental structures of the west.

According to the Constitution of the Republic of Yemen, the executive entity is made up of three branches. The first branch is the President, who has specific powers as one of the most prominent members of the government. Some of the powers include declaring a state of emergency, naming members of the national defense council, and approving capital punishments. To be eligible to run for Presidential office, candidates need to be at least 40 years of age, a descendant of Yemeni parents, practicing political and civil rights, and to be of good Islamic character; not having any prior arrests or past discrepancies. There is also a Vice President, by the name of Abd Al-Rab Mansur Hadi, who must temporarily hold office if the Presidential spot were to become vacant.[11] The Vice President would remain as President until a new election had occurred, and would soon be replaced.[12]

The second branch of the executive entity of government is the Council of Ministers. Within the council lies the Prime Minister, who is currently Ali Muhammad Mujawwar. The Prime Minister’s duty is to be the head of the government, whereas the President’s position is to be the head of the state. The President selects the Prime Minister, and in order to be eligible, the person must have many of the same qualifications as the President. The cabinet of the Prime Minister is known as the Council of Ministers, and according to Article 127 of the Constitution, “All state administrative agencies, corporations, without exception, are under the directives of the Council of Ministers.”[13] The third branch of the executive system would be the local bodies of authority. The local bodies are responsible for sub-areas of the country. Governors and local authorities are all elected by the people.

The legislative body of government is essentially bi-cameral. The 301 members of the House of Representatives are responsible for holding Shari’ah Islam as the source for all laws. The House meets in the capital, Sana’a, where they, “shall enact laws, sanction general state policy and the socio-economic plan, and approve government budgets and final accounts. It shall also direct and monitor the activities of the Executive Authority as stipulated in this constitution.” [14] The Legislative authority evidently performs a system of checks upon the executive branch, showing that the two bodies of government have important relations with one another. In order to be eligible to run for the House of Representatives, the person must be a citizen, must be at least 25 years old, needs to be literate, and of decent Islamic character. There is also an appointed Shura Council, which shares the power with the House of Representatives.[15] The Council was appointed by the President for the first time in February of 2001.

The Judicial Branch is seemed to be a separate entity within the Constitution. Specifically, the Republic of Yemen Constitution calls for an,“autonomous authority,” or, self governing power. The courts are responsible for both criminal and civil disputes that are risen. The Supreme Court of the Republic is the highest judicial power, being able to perform judicial review upon laws and cases that are unconstitutional. The Supreme Court can also oust important members such as the President, the Vice President, and the Prime Minister.[16]

In the Republic of Yemen, their criminal law would fall under the Shari'a code of law. That type of law has three categories of crime. The Hudud crimes are the most serious, for they are specifically mentioned in the Qur'an, where they are thought to be offenses directly involving God. Crimes such as adultery, use of alcohol, theft, and apostasy are all mentioned in the Islamic holy book as the most serious offenses. Qisas are serious crimes, but are not considered to be as serious as Hudud Crimes. Qisas crimes involve other individuals, which include crimes of murder and assault. Tazir crimes are much less serious offenses, which may include social violations, such as improper dress, or eating pork.[17]

Elections[edit | edit source]

Elections are conducted by different entities of the government. The people elect the President of the Republic by popular vote, who then appoints the Vice President and the Prime Minister. The President, however, needs to be endorsed by at least two members of the Parliament.[18] In 2001, the Presidential terms were moved up to seven years, and the Parliament up to six years.[19] The Prime Minister chooses his cabinet, and does so under the eye of the House of Representatives. Local authorities are elected by the people in their individual bordered areas.[20]

Courts and Criminal Law[edit | edit source]

In the Republic of Yemen, the judicial system upholds the Shari’ah law of the country. In its Islamic nature, the Yemeni Court system is much different than what is known to the West. The basic structures of the courts include first instance, appeals, and the Supreme Courts.[21] There are no separate courts for criminal and civil disputes; however, there are designated sections under the first instance courts for criminal, civil, commercial, and personal status cases. [22] First instance court is where initial disputes go to be heard and settled by an inquisitorial system. If people are displeased with the outcome of the case, and they feel that they have been violated, they can appeal to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals are in each of the 18 provinces, which have three bench judges. [23] The Supreme Court, located in the capital of San’a, is the court with greatest responsibility. The Supreme Court can handle a final appeal from the Appeals Court and form a ruling. The Supreme Court can also inspect the constitutionality of laws legislators form, and rulings lower courts make. The highest court handles much of administrative business of the judiciary system and can examine election disputes as well as jurisdiction problems between other courts. The court also has the power to try important officials such as the President, Vice President, and Prime Minister. The country’s only military section is among the eight divisions of the Supreme Court, along with Administrative, Commercial, Scrutiny, Family, Constitutional, Appeals.[24] Overall, the Supreme Court carries a large responsibility within the government. As in many Islamic Law countries, the Republic of Yemen follows a niyaba system of prosecution for criminal courts. The niyaba prosecution system enables Yemeni prosecutors to, “possess both investigatory and prosecutorial powers.”[25] The cases weigh heavily upon confessions and witnesses, and the role of the family who has been victimized is important. Lawyers do not have a great role in Shari’ah Law, where citizens are allowed to have a lawyer, but many are expected to, “represent oneself in criminal matters.” There are no juries, but only judges who are believed to uphold the interests of the Qur’an. [26]

Punishment[edit | edit source]

The Yemeni punishment system is somewhat discrete in many ways. It is difficult to find official information about specific crimes and their punishments. There are, however, controversial issues that arise in their justice system. The Yemeni government, like many other Arab nations, imposes capital and corporal punishments for crimes.

Even though there are many legal documents protecting citizens from torture and cruel treatment, corporal punishment still exists as a punishment for a crime. The corporal punishments the world often hears about through the media are usually for hadd offenses. The offenses are specifically laid out in the Qur’an and include acts of unlawful intercourse, drinking alcohol, and highway robbery. Once the defendant is considered guilty, criminals are subject to flogging, stoning, execution, exile, and amputation. Most often, however, people who are convicted of hadd offenses receive milder sentences. [27] Qisa punishments are given to citizens who have committed a wrong against another human, not the Qur’an. Although sources are limited concerning the direct actions of a qisa crime, sanctions such as imprisonment, and other forms of corporal or capital punishment are likely. [28] Corporal punishment is prohibited for children, or those who are under 18 years of age. Problems arise, however, when the official age of a juvenile offender cannot be determined, for Yemen has problems with birth registration. Once a problem occurs, an expert must be summoned to try and determine the offender’s age through unexplained tactics, for they lack many forensic science tactics.

Capital punishment is also a punishment in the Yemen, a common feature throughout the Middle East, and many other parts of the world. According to a capital punishment organization in the UK, they claim 19 executions were carried out by firing squad, the most commonly used way to execute an offender in the country. Execution can also be done by stoning, where a person is usually buried up to their waist and the community throws stones at them until they are dead. Capital and corporal punishments, however, are most often sanctions when some of the most serious crimes are committed.[29]

With limited statistical information regarding imprisonment rates, it is difficult to draw conclusions about Yemen’s prisons. In 1998, there were 14,000 people in government prisons, either already sentenced, or awaiting trial. According to the World Prison Population List, the prison population rate per 100,000 people was 83. That number does not include those who were imprisoned in private jails in the more rural, tribal areas. By American standards, Yemen would be considered to have a low imprisonment rate, for the United States’ rate is 738 per 100,000.[30] In more rural parts of Yemen, many victims of crime will rely on a sheikh, or a tribal elder, in order to settle disputes. Often times, a tribal leader will own a private prison, enabling him to perform acts prohibited by the Constitution. In many of the private prisons, health and treatment conditions are considered inhumane, however, there are not many governmental officials around to enforce the Constitutional laws prohibiting unfair treatments.[31]

The Yemen system of punishment is based off of Sharia Law, which ultimately possesses the means for revenge. Often times, in tribal communities, citizens will rely on sheikhs, who are religiously trained individuals, to settle disputes. There are often forms of retribution for those who have been victims to a crime. Either the victim, or the victims family will be paid in order for the harm done. In Middle Eastern culture, there is also a lot of shame that comes with committing an offense that is punishable by law. Those who commit crimes are seen as sinful, and then looked down upon by the community. Without sufficient evidence, one may assume that offenders could not want to commit offenses again, with fears of harsh punishments, and sharp looks from fellow community members.

Legal Personnel[edit | edit source]

In order to become a lawyer, one must attend a four year university and graduate with a law degree. The High Judicial Institute has a three year mandatory course for one who wishes to become a judge. Students must have a law degree, so they can undergo advanced training and focus on resources for general judge training. [32] The Supreme Judicial Council plays a role in who gets hired for many of the lower courts, while the President appoints people to senior judiciary positions. The Supreme Judicial Council has a significant authority over the judiciary, which is headed by the President, and two other members of the executive branch. The council is responsible for drafting a budget for the Judicial System of the lower courts, and the Supreme Court has its own budget formed by the President. There are also no Constitutional limits for the members of the council. The people of Yemen have recently been criticizing the President’s powers over the government. Although the Constitution claims that judges are independent and not subjected to any authority except the law, the President plays a huge role within the judiciary system.[33]

Law Enforcement[edit | edit source]

Yemen’s police structure is somewhat ambiguous to a foreign researcher. The country appears to have a Centralized Multiple Uncoordinated System which has three departments. The State security force is referred to as the Political Security Organization, or the PSO. The independent agency reports directly to the President, and has no supervision from the judicial system. The force has jurisdiction over the entire country. The Criminal Investigative Department, or the CID, directly reports to the Ministry of Interior. The CID is responsible for the criminal investigations and everyday arrests. The Central Security Organization, or CSO, also works directly for the Ministry of Interior. The force can be qualified as paramilitary, having a force that is militarized, but not officially part of the country’s national combative services.[34] What makes the security forces Central Multiple Uncoordinated, is that the federal government in charge of all three police structures. Three agencies indicates that there are multiple policing bodies, and each coordinates their own agenda according to their supervising agency of the central government.

Each organization, however, has been accused of corruption, and according to the Interpol Organization, the country rates as one of the highest corrupted countries.[35] The police, especially, are considered to be the most corrupt agencies in Yemen. In a survey taken by the Yemen Polling Center, 59% of the responders claimed that security forces were the most corrupt of all public agencies. In the U.S. Embassy’s report on Yemeni corruption, the text claims, “Law enforcement and investigations are believed to be weak, ineffective and sporadic due to corruption; a lack of training, capacity and resources; and a slim government presence in and control over many rural areas.)[36] The PSO is said to be one of the most corrupt security agencies, for they do not adhere to any judiciary review. The CID is said to accept small bribes, as a result from low pay, and the CSO, a paramilitary security force, has been widely accused of human rights abuse.

Reports claim that political opposition leaders, journalists, and religious scholars have been the ones most targeted by the Political Security Organization. In some cases, the PSO have forced closure on media and public agencies independent of the government, as a result from restrictions of expression. In another survey conducted by the Yemen Human Rights Board, women have reported being raped if not present with a male of their family. Raping of women would ultimately keep females from walking the streets without a male family member, fearing for their safety. The troubling report, however, is that the security and armed forces were involved in the raping of women.[37]

The Republic of Yemen has not conducted any corruption investigations, and not much is known about the problems within the police agencies. Some high ranking judges, however, have attempted to make changes, but do not have the power to do so; for they are independent from the executive branch. With a lack of evidence, it is tough to say whether or not Yemeni police are highly educated. The average amount of years a male goes to school, however, is said to be approximately 11 years, therefore, the education for policing cannot be too extensive.

The Central Security Organization is said to be the closest form of a public military unit. With lack of supporting evidence, it is difficult to make assumptions about what the members do for security. One problem Yemen police have had, however is terrorism, and terrorist organizations seeking refuge in the country. With a large desert and terrain criminals can easily hide in, terrorists have fled from countries cracking down on terrorism, and have hid in Yemen. President Salih has promised to become more strict on the criminals, and according to the Council on Foreign Relations, “In February 2009, Saudi authorities released a list of eighty-five most wanted terrorism suspects, of which twenty-six were believed to be in Yemen.[38] The Republic of Yemen continues to deal with the problem of terrorism, but have also run into protests from their own citizens in early 2011. Citizens are not happy with the way President Salih has governed the country for 30 years, and want change. In the midst of the protests, protester’s families have reported to the Human Rights Watch Organization that members of their families have been arrested, detained, and not heard from in weeks.[39] The President has promised to decentralize the power of the country in the near future, however, many citizens are not happy with the government, as well as the police.[40]

Crime Rates and Public Opinion[edit | edit source]

Although difficult to Yemen’s research statistics, the country has been trying to keep records regarding crime rates within their Central Statistical Office. Like any society, crime is common in the country, however, sources claim that Yemen’s crime rates are lower than industrialized countries. Those lower crime rates included crimes of murder, forcible rape, robbery, larceny, burglary, and motor vehicle theft. In 2003, the Central Statistical Office reported crime statistics from some of the main cities that include Sana’a, Aden, and Taiz, numbering 20 cities in total. The most frequent crime that occurred were accounts of Crimes Against Individuals, which numbered 10,269 occurrences in total.[41] Crimes that occurred second most often were Assault Crimes against Private and Personal, with 6,773 occurrences. Crimes against Public Security were also high in number in comparison to the others, which Yemen is currently strict on in the present day times of rebellion. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the homicide rate in Yemen was ranked at a 4.0 out of 100,000 people in 2008, compared to a level of 5.2 in the United States, and 60.9 in Honduras.[42] Narcotics rates also remain low, according to Yemen’s statistics, with only 59 instances dealing with drugs in 2003. In major assault cases, a 2000 statistic showed Yemen with a level of 5.8, and the United States with a 323.62, out of 100,000.[43] Specific crimes in Yemen such as car theft and sexual assaults are left off of statistic reports from the U.N. and other reputable international research centers, making it more difficult to locate solid information regarding crime and public opinion about crime. It is also extremely difficult to police tribal areas in Yemen, for the government does not have the resources or the funds in order to monitor what crimes happen within tribal communities.

Terrorism is considered an international crime that has ravaged and continues to hurt countries all over the world. The loose tribal areas in Yemen have been a safe haven for terrorists who operate many times without notice. When the USS Cole was struck by two suicide bombers on a boat while refueling in Aden, Yemen on October 12, 2000, the country was soon in the spotlight for containing sects of violent radical Muslims, like Al-Quida. Since then, the United States and the Yemeni President have teamed up and taken steps to rid the country of terrorists intending to harm others.[44]

Public opinion on terrorism is very much like that of the western countries. The people of Yemen do not like extremists resorting to violent ways, for it gives the Muslim faith a poor repudiation. Not much research can be found on public opinion on crime, but many feel they are taken advantage of in the criminal justice system. Citizens know that police and other government officials are corrupt, and accept bribes. The citizens also have mistrust for the Political Security Organization, which works directly for the executive branch, and has been accused of raping women. The PSO are not subject to review by the judiciary, so they only answer to the President.

The Republic of Yemen practices a law system that has a strong Muslim presence, but is also integrated with systems of common law, civil law, and customary law. The state religion is Islam, and much of the judiciary system is based off of Islamic Law instated by the Koran. Customary law is a system that has been established long before, so many parts of the old way of life are current in the criminal justice system. Civil law is found within code of the Constitution, and parts of Common Law can be seen as well. [45]

Rights[edit | edit source]

Family Law[edit | edit source]

Family law in Yemen is different from the traditional family law that would be found in the west. In Yemen, family law is based upon Sharia, or Islamic Law, and is mainly focused on patriarchic system. [46]The Constitutional age for marriage that applies to males and females is 15 years old; however, Yemen has come under great scrutiny from people around the world. In many of the tribal areas, where law enforcement is difficult, girls are married off by their families at a very young age. In the past, girls were considered to be ready for marriage after their first menstruation cycle, however, the law has tried to avoid those young ages. BBC News reported on a story of a girl as young as nine, who was married off to a man well over her age in return for about 2,000 dollars in U.S. Currency. He reportedly sexually abused her before she could get a divorce. [47]Traditionally, marriages were set up by male members of the female’s family, although not always the case in present day. The husband must pay his wife a dowry of equal status, which is required by law. Technically, the judge can overrule a marriage if he thinks that it is unjust for a spouse. Women are expected to be subservient to their husbands, and are allowed to work outside the home as long as her marriage duties are completed, and she has permission from her husband. [48]Polygamy is allowed in cases where men can afford to support, provide, and care for his families. That practice is mainly in rural areas. (Men are allowed to have up to four wives by Islamic Law.)

A termination of the marriage union is permitted on the grounds of defect, and inequality of social status. In first instance court, a wife can ask for dissolution if the husband cannot provide for her, if the husband has disappeared for more than a year, if he is sentenced to prison for three years, if the pair are incompatible, and if the husband is addicted to alcohol or drugs. [49] Men can divorce women without asking their consent, raising concern for many Yemeni women. If a man decides to divorce his wife without a just cause, the judge can impose a sanction which provides compensation to his ex-wife for a year. What many men do, however, is marry a second wife before divorcing their first. That allows a man to only have to pay three months compensation to his ex-wife. [50] Women are considered to have custody over children until a certain age, in which they go to their father if he is fit to raise children from the judge’s standards. Custody ends at age nine for boys and age twelve for girls, where the children can then choose who they want to live with.

In a household, males are the dominant figures, where females are expected to do chores, and help raise the children. In Yemen, a woman does not have many of the same rights as men. These issues are both social, and of legal binding. In the case of inheritance, women are allowed to receive money from her father, mother, husband, or children, however, she generally receives only half the amount her brother would inherit. Males in the family get more compensation then women do. In rural areas, many do not know the law, and therefore, women are deprived of inheritance. Women, by law, can access land, however, they cannot own the land, and accessing it is more difficult due to poverty and illiteracy. [51]Adoption in Yemen is comparable to other countries which follow Islamic Law. In many cases, adoption is allowed but with strict sanctions. Children must grow up knowing and accepting their biological parents and kin. The child’s biological name is never changed, and the adoptive parents take the place of a foster parent. [52]

Human Rights[edit | edit source]

Human rights in the Republic of Yemen have come under the international spectacle since protests in Sana’a, on March 18th, 2011. In the modern world, people place a huge value on the fundamental rights of humans, and heavily criticize those who exploit others. The reason for the protests in Yemen is the direct result of citizens being denied the rights they demand. In Yemen’s Constitution, Part II is specifically designated for the “Basic Rights and Duties of Citizens.” Within Part II, several rights drawn, but many of them are violated by the government itself, as well as numerous tribal areas and villages.

Under Article 47-b., the Constitution claims torture, cruel and inhumane, or degrading treatment or punishment is prohibited.[53] According to the U.S. State Department, however, there have been reports that authorities tortured and abused people while being detained. The Yemeni government recognized that torture had occurred, and did not condone it. It is difficult to prosecute government employees because of the immunity they are protected by. The immunity includes public employees who committed crime on duty, but not off duty. Therefore, it is a struggle for those who seek justice for being tortured. The law also prohibits arbitrary arrest or detention under Article 47-b. There have been violations of the right, for there have been reports of Special Forces arresting people without seeing them commit an illegal act, or without a summons. Prison conditions also are not up to an international standard. Many are being housed in unsanitary conditions, where bribes and corruption determine how well one is treated. In women prisons, male guards often sexually harass inmates. Unauthorized prisons also remain to be a problem, for they are not well regulated by the government.[54]

The issue of a fair trial is also a highly disputed aspect of Yemeni law. The Constitution calls for an independent judiciary system and judges, but many are deemed corrupt, and poorly educated. According to the U.S. State Department, President Saleh attempted to bring about a better judicial system, and the executive branch fired 22 judges for corruption. The judges have also remained bias to the state in many cases, for they are too closely related with the executive branch. The government’s respect for Civil Liberties include, Freedom of Speech and Press, but it is hard for average citizens to practice them. The government owns the only radio and media stations in the country, and controls nearly all the printing presses. Journalists have even reported being harassed and threatened when criticizing the government in their writings. Freedom of religion is important to the country that is primarily Islamic because of their national religion. For those who are not Muslim, however, have some restrictions on their freedoms.[55]

The Yemeni people also have the Constitutional right to a freedom of peaceful assembly and association, and the right to change their government. What is difficult for the Yemeni people in the present day, however, is that the Constitution enables the people to change the government only through Parliament, where the legislative branch is not as powerful as the executive branch. It has been since February, 2011, that protesters have had their rights heavily violated. While calling for reform in Sana’a, on March 18, 2011, 52 protesters were shot and killed by government supporting snipers. It is believed that the orchestrated shooting were carried out by government authorities. In the shooting, more than 200 people were wounded. The Yemeni people, however, have not compromised when President Saleh said he would reform the government, and step down slightly early from his term. The citizens insist on ousting the president, along with the corruption that has plagued the country for years. It has been reported that since February, 94 protesters have been killed, and Amnesty International claims the government is not doing enough to protect the protesters. [56]

Discrimination against women has also been a problem in the country. The Constitution states, in Article 40, that, “Citizens are all equal in rights and duties.” [57] Although women are considered citizens, they have been subject to lower standards of living, and often abused in the home. Domestic abuse and marital rape are not criminal in the country, where girls are forced to get married at a very young age. A law has recently been signed in order for a the minimum age of marriage for a girl to be 15 years old. [58] Many tribal areas do not follow the code of law, however, and are not subject to any authority. It is almost impossible for the government to police the tribal areas, where women are not treated with respect.

In conclusion, human rights are formed in the government, but the Republic of Yemen is experiencing problems with the government following the provisions. Rights have therefore been diminishing, and protests want to implement significant changes, but continue to be abused by pro government armed men, who often shoot into peaceful protesting crowds. Talks of negotiation are hindered by such attacks, and have been condemned by other countries.

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