Al-Nahar [Archives:2004/712/Press Review]

February 16 2004

12 February 2004
Main headlines
– Saudi Arabia stalls in returning Yemeni territories and refuses to dismantle the security barrier
– America retains a lawyer for a Yemeni detained in Guantanamo
– Islamic liberation party: Sana'a capital for evil and corruption

The newspaper's political editor says it is scheduled that the Yemeni parliament would in the coming days endorses the basic regulations of the International Criminal Court known as Rome Document after it has received assurances from the government in which it confirmed that the regulations articles do not contradict texts of the constitution regarding impingement of sovereignty or stripping officials and citizens of their immunity. Yemen's fears were about the article 89 of the court that obliges trial of those accused of wars and genocide crimes and crimes against humanity in their countries otherwise they would be internationally wanted to be tried in any country they arrive in. But the European pressure on Sana'a culminated in its hosting of democracy conference last December and the internal pressure practiced by political parties and organisations concerned with human rights resulted in changing the government attitude from reservation to support. While the parliamentary blocs have announced their support for joining the International Criminal Court the government found itself facing two challenges, the first represented by amending local legislature in the way compatible with system of the international criminal court to be qualified to study the issues that could be raised against its citizens and the second one is the American stand towards Yemen that is opposing the court especially that there are American military experts in Yemen that would make them exposed to accountability if judicial lawsuits were raised against them.
A western diplomat in Sana'a says that the Yemeni orientation towards Europe would increase America's worry and puts before two options. It would either try to conclude a bilateral agreement with Yemen according to which the American military men are exempt from any legal pursuits or replacing the American experts by others from countries allied to its policy towards what is known as terror.