Regional Seminar to Support Women Prisoners Concluded [Archives:2001/27/Local News]

July 2 2001

By Talal Al-Sharaabi
The Sisters Arabic Forum, in coordination with the International Human Rights Law Group, concluded on Wednesday a three-day regional workshop on “Building Effective Advocacy for Women’s Human Rights. Protecting Women Prisoners Rights” during June 25-27 in Sana’a. About 40 people participated in this workshop; 20 representing some civil society organizations; 9 representing governmental institutions. Five women participants from Egypt, Tunis, Jordan, Malaysia, and USA presented papers on the situations of prisoners in their countries and on their experience in protecting women’s rights in general, and women prisoners in particular. Ms. Samine Nazir and Ms. Virginia Chitanda of the International Human Rights Law Group also attended the workshop. The participants came out with recommendations, which are expected to be sent to all relevant authorities and interested agencies for implementation. In its first session, the forum discussed several issues regarding human rights in Islam, particularly rights of the prisoners, plus other issues such as regulations regarding the treatment of women prisoners and the need to protect those women’s rights locally and internationally.
The second session discussed the conditions of women prisoners in the USA, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Malaysia, and Pakistan as mentioned in the reports submitted by experts in the field of human rights in those countries,
The third session included a number of working papers including one by Debra Golden, Samine Nazir, in which both talked about the strategies of improving living conditions of women prisoners at the local, regional, and international levels.
The concluding session held on Wednesday evening was basically a discussion session with the participation of individuals representing different sectors of the community. The deliberations focused on the immediate steps to be taken in Yemen to improve and protect the lives and dignity of women prisoners and and the strategies to rehabilitate them socially after they are released.