NPWJ urges Yemeni Parliament to approve International Criminal Court law [Archives:2006/914/Front Page]

January 23 2006

SANA'A, Jan. 22 – No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) distributed a press release this week stating that the Yemeni Parliament will consider approving the International Court of Justice's Roman Law at its session next week.

NPWJ, a non-profit organization promoting human rights, was invited to Sana'a to shed more light on international criminal law on the eve of parliamentary vote on the law.

The group's head said in the statement, “We welcome Parliament's scheduling the law and we urge MPs to ratify it.”

The NGO head added, “The Parliamentary decision will be in conformity with one of Sana'a regional conference's important recommendations on democracy, human rights and the International Court's role. The International Court is an international establishment for rule of law and combating immunity, which enables officials to evade their crimes. It is also for the defense of basic human rights.”

Roman Law went into effect July 2002. Mexico and 100 other countries worldwide ratified it. “Yemeni ratification of the law will be a promoting step to the International Court in the Arab world. It will place Yemen among major participating countries in the Middle East and North Africa,” the group added.

“International Court law is a resilient law set to coexist with different judiciary systems, including Arab ones, which adopt complicated legislation. If ratified, Yemen will be part of the international community promoting democracy on an international level,” the statement added.

The release continued, “As international media focuses on Yemen for its wrong orientations, we urge Yemeni legislators to prove their country's readiness to protect democracy's future and human rights.”

The statement concluded by thanking the Yemeni government and activists who defend human rights and democracy, saying, “The pledges and commitments signed by the Yemeni government two years ago now are due to be fulfilled.”

IPS news agency quoted lawyer Mohamed Naji Alao as saying, “Arab regimes are reluctant to ratify the International Court law because they think the basis of these laws is not in conformity with their people.”

He continued, “Abduction, torture and imprisonment without charge or trial are prevalent in the Arab world. The pretexts of these oppressions are aggravated under terror fighting laws.”

In a statement to IPS News, Parliament's Human Rights Committee member Shawqi Al-Qadahi criticized Arab countries that signed the agreement and refused to ratify the treaty.