Attempted murder against Mr. Ahmed Hashim

12/07/2011
Urgent Appeal

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint the programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organization against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Yemen.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about an attempted murder against Mr. Ahmed Hashim, Head of the Documentation Department of the Yemeni Organisation for the Defence of Democratic Rights and Freedoms (Hurryat).

According to the information received, in the afternoon of July 7, 2011, as he was leaving the offices of Hurryat, located in the Street of Hedah, in Sanaa, Mr. Ahmed Hashim was intercepted by two masked persons on a motorcycle. One of the men drew his pistol towards Mr. Hashim, and fired two shots in his direction. Thankfully, the bullets did not reach him.

According to some eye witnesses, the two armed men escaped from sight, crossing a Central Security checkpoint. No attempt was made on the part of the Yemeni Security Forces to arrest the men.

Mr. Ahmed Hashim did not file a complaint fearing that he might be arrested as a result, as has been the practice over the past weeks when a human rights defender visits police stations or public prosecutor’s offices.

Since the beginning of the protest movement in Yemen, Hurryat has been monitoring, denouncing and providing legal support to those subjected to arbitrary arrest and torture in the context of the repression of the protest movement.

On July 6, 2011, members of Hurryat had met representatives of the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) Assessment Mission on human rights violations in Yemen, during which they provided information on human rights violations committed notably in the context of the repression of demonstrations by the governmental forces.

The Observatory fears that members of Hurryat may be under further risk and reminds the Yemeni authorities of its obligation to ensure the protection of human rights defenders. The Observatory condemns this attempted murder which seems to merely aim at intimidating or punishing Hurryat for their legitimate human rights activities, and urges the Yemeni authorities to investigate on circumstances of the above mentioned acts.

Actions requested:

The Observatory urges the authorities of Yemen to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Ahmed Hashim, as well as all members of Hurryat;

ii. Carry out an immediate, thorough, effective and impartial investigation into the attempted murder against Mr. Ahmed Hashim, the result of which must be made public, in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before a civil competent and impartial tribunal and apply to them the penal sanctions provided by the law;

iii. Put an end to all kind of harassment against Mr. Ahmed Hashim as well as against all human rights defenders in Yemen, and ensure in all circumstances that they are able to carry out their work without hindrances;

iv. Conform in any circumstances with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, in particular its Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually or in association with others, to promote the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, Article 5(a), which states that “for the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, at the national and international levels, to meet peacefully”, and its Article 12.2 which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”;

v. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Yemen.

Addresses:

· General Ali Abdullah Saleh, President of the Republic of Yemen, Sana’a, Yemen. Fax: + 967 127 4147

· His Excellency Dr Ghazi Shaif al-Aghbari, Ministry of Justice, Sana’a, Republic of Yemen, Fax: +967 1 222 015

· His Excellency Dr. Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, Minister of Foreign affairs, Sana’a, Republic of Yemen, Fax: + 967-1-536 952

· Her Excellency Houda ‘Ali ‘Abdullatif al-Baan, Ministry for Human Rights, Sana’a, Republic of Yemen, Fax: +967 1 444 833

· Ambassador Monsieur Ibrahim Saied Mohamed Al-Adoofi, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Yemen to the United Nations in Geneva, 19 Chemin du Jonc, 1216 Cointrin, Switzerland, Tel: +41 22 799 05 10. Fax: +41 22 798 04 65, E-mail: mission.yemen@ties.itu.int

· Ambassador Abdulwhab Mohamed ALSHAWKANI, Embassy of the Republic of Yemen in Brussels 114 av. F.D. Roosevelt, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium. Tel: + 32 2.646.52.90, Fax: + 32 2.646.29.11, Email : yemen@skynet.be

Please also write to diplomatic representations of Yemen in your respective countries.

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