Statement by the UK Mission Geneva on the Universal Periodic Review of Yemen, 29 January 2014.
Thank you Mr President,
The UK welcomes the recommendations on human rights made by Yemen’s National Dialogue Conference, in particular the introduction of a minimum legal age for marriage and the renewed commitments to pass a law on transitional justice and the establishment of a commission to investigate the alleged human rights violations in 2011.
However, significant human rights violations in Yemen continue. The UK opposes the death penalty in all circumstances as a matter of principle, and is concerned by its continued use in Yemen. We express deep concern over the execution of juvenile offenders, which is prohibited under Yemeni law. The UK also remains concerned by human rights violations by government forces.
The conclusion of the National Dialogue Conference is a positive step in Yemen’s transition and we now urge the Government to work quickly to enshrine its recommendations into a new constitution and enforce them by law.
We have two recommendations:
To establish a commission to investigate the alleged human rights violations in 2011 and ensure that all perpetrators are brought to justice.
To introduce an immediate moratorium on executions with the intention of abolishing the death penalty, and introduce methods to accurately determine the ages of all defendants, such as by improving birth registration rates.