Yemen ratifies the Statute of the International Criminal Court

On 24 March 2007, the Yemeni Parliament, after several hours of intense debate, voted in favour of the ratification of the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) with a two third majority. FIDH and its member organisations in Yemen, the Sisters’ Arab Forum for Human Rights (SAF) and the Human Rights Information and Training Center (HRTIC), welcome this historic step, after more than three years of campaign towards ratification of the Rome Statute.

If the ratification instruments are handed over to the United Nations on time, Yemen will become the 105th State party to the Rome Statute and the 4th member of the League of Arab States to be a party to the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) - with Jordan, Djibouti and the Comoros.

“Yemen’s ratification of the Rome Statute is a significant sign for the country’s commitment to justice and the rule of law, and a sign of hope for victims of the most hideous crimes under international law”, says Mr. Sidiki Kaba, FIDH President. “Yemen must now play a leading role in the region in the promotion of international justice mechanisms and in particular the International Criminal Court”, he adds.

FIDH and its member organisations call upon Yemen to:
- complete the ratification process and hand over as soon as possible the ratification instruments to the United Nations;
- implement the Rome Statute in its domestic law in order to allow the national jurisdictions to exercise the principle of complementarity with the ICC;
- ratify the Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the ICC;
- share its experience to promote the ICC in the region.

On 1 July 2006, six months after the Yemeni Parliament announced that the ratification of the Statute of the ICC would be on the agenda of its 2006 session [1], the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee submitted its report on the ratification of the Rome Statute to the Parliament for discussion.

The ratification of the Statute of the ICC intervenes three years after the creation and reinforcement of the Yemeni Coalition for the ICC at the first national seminar on the ICC in the country, organized by FIDH and SAF, in collaboration with the International Coalition for the International Criminal Court, on 7-8 January 2004 in Sana’a [2], as well as a series of follow-up meetings FIDH and SAF organised with the Yemeni authorities and members of Parliament.

See also the press statements of FIDH member organisations in Yemen:
SAF : www.saf-yemen.org
HRTIC : www.hritc.org

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