Following unfair trialAmnesty International denounces al-Shahari’s execution [Archives:2005/900/Local News]

December 5 2005

SANA'A, Dec. 3 ) Amnesty International has greatly deplored the execution of Mr. Fuad Ali al-Shahari by firing squad in Taiz a few days ago. Mr. Al-Shahari was a lawyer and former member of the opposition Socialist Party and he was sentenced to death nine years ago as he was accused of deliberate murder in 1991 and suffered an unfair trial as a consequence.

The execution was carried out despite many appeals by the Amnesty International and others global bodies including the European Union and the Yemeni Human Rights Ministry. Fuad al-Shahari was sentenced to death in November 1996 when he was found guilty of the murder of Captain Mohamed al-Ameri, a security official and a member of the ruling People's General Congress Party, in an armed conflict that year.

Soon after his arrest, Fuad al-Shahari declared that he was tortured and forced to confess of the killing, an act which he said he had not committed. However, the court failed to investigate these allegations of torture and prospective defense witnesses were said to have been prevented from testifying before the court.

The Appeal Court has upheld the death sentence in May 1996 while further appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court in March 2004.

Al-Shahari, who was tried in a commercial court, presented the case of his charge to the Amnesty International and complained that he was subjected to abuse and torture in order to confess to the crime: He was deprived of the right to a fair trial.

In his letter to the Amnesty International, he said: “I am sure that I am innocent and there are many witnesses who testified in my favor. I never expected that I will be tortured, witnesses will be threatened and the documents will be forged.”

As many as 150 letters and appeals were forwarded to President Ali Abdullah Saleh to grant al-Shahari his right to face a fair trial and humanitarian treatment with a dead end.

For its part, Hood Organization appealed to the President to the Republic to return the commercial verdict to the Supreme Court to finish the case, cancel the decision of the Supreme Court Chairman and oblige the court not to violate the law. However, all those attempts have failed in saving al-Shahari's life.