Yemeni Women Union in Taiz [Archives:2004/769/Community]

September 2 2004

By Yemen Times Staff

On 2nd Aug. 2004, a workshop was conducted at the meeting hall of Yemeni Women Union branch in Taiz, to aid social and health care of the female prisoners at Taiz central prison. Suad Al-Absi, the head of the Yemeni Women Union advised in her address to the workshop that this initiative was part of a multi-sided plan for the legal, health and social welfare of female prisoners and their children. The legal side was discussed by women from the legal protection program which is considers this initiative as one of their strategic targets. As such, the legal team of 12 advocates was formed to defend and plead for the female prisoners before the court with the support of Oxfam Organization. She also mentioned that the number of the women prisoner in Taiz Central Prison had reached 50 with offences distributed into several cases i.e. 25 cases prostitution, 4 cases of the 'open and being alone deed' , 1 case of homosexualality, 2 cases of theft, 4 cases of absence from the marital home in addition to 6 cases of murder.
Twenty-two cases have already been released with several further cases under review in the courts. This leaves 10 cases which are still under investigation. There are also 23 children prisoners who are without any parental care system.
Mrs. Al-Absi added that the health care issue was being dealt with by offering medical training in prisons. She also advised that there are recurrent prisoners who account for up to 13% of the cases. This phenomenon is currently under study so as to fully understand its causes. Also attending was Mr. Mohammad Al-Ansi, Deputy Assistant of Taiz Governorate, and Brigadier Ahmed Mohammad Al-Olufy, Director of Taiz Security, Mr. Mufeed Abdo Saif, the Chairman of Commerce & Industry in Taiz in addition to Doctor Mohammad Al-Durrah, the head of General law at Taiz University and Doctor Hussain Ali Al-Adeemy. Dr Al-Adeemy has previously submitted two work papers to the workshop, forming a separate report summarizing its' themes. Whereas the Security Director highlighted the fact that that the central prison capacity is for 600 prisoners, there are at present 1400 prisoners in it. He asked for greater attention to be paid to the prevention of crime, which he said was a matter for the community, prior to entering into the issue of prison reform.
He did however welcome combined efforts for communication between the prison management and the community leaders who play such and important role in crime prevention.