Yemen–Human Rights Committee–Death Penalty–August 2020

The Advocates for Human Rights, along with the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, submitted a List of Issues Prior to Reporting relating to the death penalty in Yemen for the 130th session of the Human Rights Committee.


The Government of Yemen retains the death penalty in law and practice and has not taken steps to establish a moratorium on the death penalty. Individuals may be subjected to the death penalty for crimes including aggravated murder or any offenses resulting in death, terrorism-related offenses, rape, drug possession, homosexuality, adultery, treason, espionage, and military-related offenses. Crimes that do not qualify as “most serious” under Article 6 of the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights continue to be subject to the death penalty in Yemen. As homosexuality remains criminalized in Yemen, criminal offenses related to consensual same-sex conduct are eligible for the death penalty and executions may be carried out by stoning. The Government of Yemen further fails to protect juveniles and persons with psycho-social disabilities who are eligible for the death sentence under Yemeni law. The Government of Yemen has also failed to uphold national and international detention standards.


Suggested questions to the Government of Yemen:

  • What steps has the State Party undertaken to reduce the number of crimes that are eligible for the death penalty and to ensure that the death penalty an available punishment only for the “most serious” crimes, as established under international human rights standards?

  • What procedures are in place to ensure that people under the age of 18 and people with psycho-social disabilities are not executed?

  • What steps have Yemeni authorities taken to ensure that people will not be sentenced to death for engaging in consensual same-sex sexual conduct?

  • What protections are in place to ensure that any person with a psycho-social disability who is accused of a crime receives reasonable accommodations for their disability in all stages of the investigation and prosecution of the alleged crime?

  • What measures have Yemeni authorities taken to limit crimes that are eligible for the death penalty to the most serious crimes as defined by the Human Rights Committee in General Comment 36 (2018)?

  • What steps has the State taken to ensure that no coerced or forced confessions accepted as evidence in court, except against a person accused of torture or other ill-treatment as evidence that the “confession” or other statement was made?

  • What measures have courts and detention authorities taken to review the basis for the detention of all persons who have not been convicted of crimes and to ensure the prompt release of all persons being held without charge?