Some 80% of Juveniles detained without charge [Archives:2007/1078/Local News]

August 20 2007

By: Yahya Jaber
For Yemen Times

SANA'A, Aug. 19 ) An official study showed that 77 percent of the juveniles are detained in the Yemeni prisons without any verdicts. However, 23 percent of whom are detained by the prosecution and the primary courts with under imprisonment verdicts ranging between six months and one and a half year, according to the study.

The study, conducted by the Ministry of Interior, revealed recently that the robbery crimes committed by those juveniles topped first with 29 percent. The pederasty crimes came in the second with 23 percent followed by crimes of drinking wines with 14 percent.

The study also added that the crimes of committing an outrageous act such as adultery ranked fourth with 9 percent followed by homicide with 6 percent. However, the rape and raiding houses or traffic accidents came last with 3percent.

The study, conducted by Brig. Abdul-Wahab Shukri, Deputy Manager of Prisons for Reforming and Rehabilitation Affairs in Aden governorate, showed that 60 percent of the crime committers are illiterate while 31 percent have basic education certificate and 9 percent with high school certificate.

In his study about the prison and its role in rehabilitating the delinquent juveniles, Shukri added that male juveniles occupied the greatest percentage in committing crimes with 77 percent while females came second with 23 percent.

The study also showed that the juveniles in prisons are ranging between the age of 16 and 18. Worth-noting, this category is excluded in the law no. 24 for the year of 1992 regarding juveniles' care. The concerned law specified the legal age of a juvenile to be fifteen years old only. Therefore, the age category that ranges from 16 to 18 is not included in the juvenile.

As a result of that, those aged between 16 and 18 and committed crimes must appear in person before the primary court but not before juveniles' court. This is according to the legal text applicable to the Yemeni law of penalty no.12 for the year of 1994 even if the penalty is mitigated according to the legal provisions.

The study warned of imprisoning the delinquent juveniles ranging between 16 and 18 in the prisons. Also, it ensured that prisons are not the place where this age category stays; calling for the necessity of issuing a law that extends the juvenile age to be 18. And, the shelter for these delinquent juveniles is to be the social care buildings, according to the study.

It also urged the concerned parties to take care of juveniles and offer support and assistance for prisons where juveniles stay so as to minimize the pressure on prisons.

Worth-noting, the issue of increasing the age of juveniles is still included in the agenda of the Parliament so as to be discussed soon and then ratified.