Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/5/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Unable to prove their age, many accused of murder face the death penalty

Yemen, one of the Middle East's poorest and least educated nations, has a terrible legacy surrounding the many isolated rural families who fail to record their children's births with official birth certificates. Those convicted of murder while still children - usually arising from inhumane treatment, are unable to prove they were under 18 years of age at the time and are sentenced to death.

Lack of birth certificates consign a lot of Yemeni young people to death from execution.

Lack of birth certificates consign a lot of Yemeni young people to death from execution.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

3/5/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Yemen, child executions, birth certificates, rural communities

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Proving one's age is a huge issue in Yemen in these cases," Priyanka Motaparthy, a Human Rights Watch researcher says.

"But there is a second issue: even in cases when juvenile offenders and lawyers were able to produce strong evidence suggesting they were under 18 for their alleged crime, judges and prosecutors have disregarded Yemeni law and called for death sentences," Motaparthy says.

Yemen's penal code banned juvenile executions in 1994. However, recent reports say that 186 are being currently tried for murder and could face the death penalty. Three such executions were given a green light by former President Ali Abdulah Saleh before he left office in February of last year. Yemen's current president must sign a decree as the final step before an execution is carried out.

Yemen is signatory to the Convention of the Rights of the Child, as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which bars the death penalty for those who commit murder under age 18.

This has failed to prevent Yemen's presidents from signing juvenile execution orders once appeals are exhausted, and 15 have been killed in the past five years.

Adults can receive death sentences for murder, honor crimes, rape, armed robbery and even sorcery. Most executions are conducted in prison courtyards with families and officials present, by shooting into the back of a prone prisoner.

Seventy-seven outraged juveniles in Sana'a Central Prison mounted a high-profile hunger strike in January, protesting the death sentence handed down to Nadim al-Aza'azi, who was confirmed by a court doctor to have been 15 years old at the time of his crime.

"We are not only outraged that child offenders continue to be executed in Yemen, in flagrant contravention of international law, but we are also deeply concerned over the increased number of sentences of capital punishments pronounced against children," Jean Zermatten, chair of United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Organizations such as UNICEF are working with the government on birth registration - especially in rural areas where the majority of the Yemen's 25 million population live as a crucial step to address the execution of juvenile offenders.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Middle East

The Feared Spetsnaz: Russian special forces sent to take out rebels -including the Free Syrian Army Watch

Image of Spetsnaz special forces.


Feared Spetsnaz special forces were reportedly sent by Russian President Vladimir Putin to obliterate Islamic State terrorists and the moderate rebel groups against Bashar al-Assad. The special troops' intervention was said to be indicative of Russia's support for the ... continue reading

What is the Islamic State doing with all those Toyota vehicles? Watch

Image of It took awhile for others to catch on, but propaganda videos released by Islamic State, or ISIS, shows them using an extraordinary amount of vehicles from Japanese car manufacturer Toyota.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It took awhile for others to catch on, but propaganda videos released by Islamic State, or ISIS, shows them using an extraordinary amount of vehicles from Japanese car manufacturer Toyota. The U.S. Treasury Department has since launched an inquiry as to why. ... continue reading

Yazidi grandfather opens up about ISIS and the tragic loss of his three granddaughters Watch

Image of Atto holds pictures of his grandchildren (Owen Holdaway).


A Yazidi grandfather shared the tragic story of his three granddaughters who died in the Mediterranean Sea during their attempt to flee the ISIS regime. The children aged 8, 12 and 15 drowned when the smuggler's boat overturned. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading

ISIS threatens Christians to sign subservience contract or 'be killed' Watch

Image of ISIS continues to reign in terror in Syria


ISIS recently conquered another Syrian town, which was featured in the latest ISIS propaganda video. ISIS threatened Christians in the area to sign a contract of subservience to Muslim rule or face death. The video also included a warning to Christians in America. LOS ... continue reading

Pregnant Yazidi sex slaves forced into brutal abortions Watch

Image of ISIS sex slaves who became pregnant were forced to abort through brutal abortions leaving them unable to walk or even speak.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

ISIS members forced pregnant sex slaves to have barbaric abortions that leave the women bleeding heavily and in so much pain they are unable to speak or walk. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Young Yazidi women who escaped their lives as ISIS sex slaves opened up to ... continue reading

Russian military continues to overstep in Syria Watch

Image of Russia continues its airstrikes in Syria.


Russia claimed to have launched successful attacks against rebel camps in Syria, as other countries in the West continue to criticize the intervention. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron recently gave his stand, joining critics who say Moscow committed a "grave ... continue reading

ISIS calls for death of Navy Seal who shot Osama Bin Laden Watch

Image of ISIS reaches out via Twitter.


Despite social media privacy regulations, an unnamed British ISIS jihadist reportedly published the name and address of the Navy Seal who shot al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. The online publication also called American jihadists to take up arms and kill the soldier in ... continue reading

Iran aims missiles at U.S. military bases Watch

Image of Iran's missile capabilities (Ali Reza Farhadifar).


This weekend, a senior Iranian military officer warned that all U.S. military bases in the Middle East are within the range of target of Iran's missiles. He also noted that the Islamic Republic will continue to ignore international bans on the construction of ballistic ... continue reading

Interviews reveal what life is like in the Islamic State Watch

Image of Children are often used as soldiers, or even as suicide bombers. Brainwashing begins at a very young age.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Interviews with people from the Islamic State are painting a picture of daily life in the militant regime. Over the past several months, reporters, aid workers and other agencies have conducted interviews with survivors as well as with residents of the Islamic State. ... continue reading

Turkey to Russia: 'Our rules of engagement are clear' Watch

Image of Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (Reuters).


Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has promised to take necessary actions in order to protect the country's borders from the incursion done by Russian warplanes, when they entered its airspace on Sunday. This has forced Turkey to scramble their fighter jets and to ... continue reading

All Middle East News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jonah 4:1-11
1 This made Jonah very indignant; he fell into a ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 86:3-4, 5-6, 9-10
3 take pity on me, Lord, for to you I cry all the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:1-4
1 Now it happened that he was in a certain place ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 7th, 2015 Image

St. Artaldus
October 7: Artaldus (also called Arthaud) was born in the castle of ... Read More