Penal Reform Supported in Yemen [Archives:1998/25/Local News]

June 22 1998

Hosted by the British Council, a delegation from Penal Reform International visited Yemen during the first half of June.
The two-member delegation visited a number of prisons in Sanaa, Aden, Taiz and other governorates in order to be able to devise strategy of support of prison reform by the British Government, in cooperation with the governmental Supreme National Committee on Human Rights (SNCHR) and the Ministry of Interior in Yemen.
Some of the delegation’s findings were reported in a lecture – on 13 June at the British Council in Sanaa – given by Mr. John Staples, Senior Service Manager in the Prison Service of England and Wales; and Mr. Ahmed Othmani, Chairperson of Prison Reform International.
The event was attended by the British Ambassador to Sanaa, senior officials in the prison service at the Ministry of Interior, representatives of the SNCHR, the Chairman of the Committee for Combating Torture, representatives of the media and a number of interested individuals.
Established in Britain in 1989, Penal Reform International (PRI) is an NGO with members in more than 80 countries. It formulates regional programs to support NGOs and individuals to set up projects in their own countries.

PRI Goals
PRI aims to achieve the following:

* Give ample opportunity to people working in the penal system and NGO activists to cooperate with international organizations on penal reform;
* Developing and enacting international human rights conventions,
* Abolishing all forms of discrimination;
* Abolishing capital punishment;
* Limiting prison sentences; and
* Resorting to alternative punishments that do not take away the individual’s freedom and or harm his/her physical well-being, taking into consideration the interests of the victims.