Political Analysis

EU Human Rights Delegation Urges Yemen to Release Political Detainees

National Yemen

EU Human Rights Delegation

By NY Staff

On Thursday the European Union (EU) human rights delegation, currently in Yemen, Yemeni government to release all politically motivated prisoners. The delegation is comprised of parliament members from Germany, UK and Romania.

In a press conference held in Sheba Hotel in Sana’a, the head of the EU delegation Barbara Lochbihler, said,”the EU has been closely following the protests in Yemen in 2011. And now a year later, we wanted to pay another visit to the country in order to see how things have developed.”

Lochbihler pointed out that the team held talks with top governmental officials, youth activists, political parties representatives, representatives from the different factions in Yemen, and victims.

She stressed the importance of the upcoming national dialogue, and underlined the importance of inclusive participation, emphasizing factions and movements opposed to the GCC-initiated power transfer deal.

“Extra efforts have to be made by President Hadi and the National Unity Government in order to ensure the participation of the sides which did not take part in the GCC-brokered power transfer deal,” she said.

Speaking about other things she witnessed during her trip, Lochbibler said, “We found out that there are still many detainees still languishing in prisons,” she noted.

Lochbihler said,” we paid a visit this morning to the jails and we met with the prisoners, of whom four are in a death room. We call on the Yemeni government to look into their cases thoroughly. One of these four prisoners is a very desperate case.”

“Because his sentence has already been passed. Therefore, we call on President Abu Rabu Mansour Hadi to give him mercy and reconsider the sentence,” Lochbihler continued.

The German diplomat underlined the importance for conducting a fair and thorough investigation by international committee or by national committee but according to international standards.

“We are against any impunity as those who committed or gave orders for those who committed crimes against peaceful protesters must be held accountable for what they did,” she said.

Speaking about the IDPs, Lochbihler said we are really sorry for the poor families who were driven out of their homes and we call on the state members of the EU and the constituent members of the international community to provide support for these families.

She said support and aid is not adequate alone, as it must be accompanied by political solution between the warring sides.

The head of the EU delegation further stressed that women must be represented in all decision-making and political parties by no less than 30 percent and said the EU will support organizations working to achieve that.

“We also call on the government to adopt a law which specifies the minimal age for marriage among girls,” Lochbihler said, adding that they understand that many people consider that’s contradictory with religious beliefs.