Islamic Human Rights Commission
22 October 2005
Urgent Alert: Yemen – Protest death sentence on Sheikh Yahya Hussein al-Dailami, Prisoner of Faith
Sheikh Yahya Hussein al-Dailami is a Zaidi cleric in Yemen who was sentenced to death in May this year for conspiring to harm “the diplomatic and political position of Yemen.” The ‘evidence’ against him adduced at court included fomenting of protest sit-ins and leading demonstrations against foreign involvement in Iraq and the occupation of Palestine, as well as protests against the Yemeni authorities violent crackdown on religious and political dissenters. Al-Dailami’s attendance at a social function at the Iranian Embassy in Sana and a trip to Iran as part of a Yemeni national delegation to a conference were also cited as evidence of his aim.
Whilst one of many cases that highlight the injustice of Yemen’s political and legal system – in particular the Special Criminal Court convened to try dissenters like al-Dailami, al-Dailami’s case has become symbolic for Yemeni campaigners. The Yemen Times hosted a campaign meeting for his case, this summer at which his wife, Dr. Amal Hajjar stated:
“We have to join forces in defence of thousands of victims and innocents that we don’t know their identities, we have to unite in demanding for independent judiciary system.”
The Yemen Times has written extensively about his case and further details can be found at:
Prisoner of conscience Scholar Yahya al-Dailami to the Yemen Times: “Cruel regimes are the reason behind terrorism!”
Appeal to cancel execution sentence
Whilst an amnesty including the names of Al-Dailami and his co-accused was announced on 26th September, no progress seems to have been made towards their release.
IHRC requests campaigners to write to the Yemeni Ambassador in your country and the Minister for Foreign Affairs in your country. Specimen letters to the Yemeni Ambassador in Britain, and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, below, can be modified for your own country.
Model letter to Yemeni Ambassador in London, UK
HE Dr Mutahar Abdullah Al-Saeede
Embassy of the Republic of Yemen
57 Cromwell Road
London SW7 2ED
Fax: (020) 7589 3350
Death sentence on Sheikh Yahya Hussein al-Dailami
I am writing to express my deepest concern about the death sentence passed on Sheikh Yahya Hussein al-Dailami.
Al-Dailami’s trial and that of his co-accused is nothing short of an international embarrassment and I strongly urge the Yemen government to take immediate action to commute this sentence and to release Al-Dailami and all prisoners of faith and conscience in Yemen.
Yemen’s statements regarding its commitment to freedom and security in the region and the world can have little meaning if it continues to persecute its own citizens.
Model letter to British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw MP
Rt. Hon Jack Straw MP
King Charles Street
Dear Mr. Straw,
Re: Death sentence on Sheikh Yahya Hussein al-Dailami, Yemen
I write to express my deep concern regarding the death sentence passed on the above.
Al-Dailami’s trial in a special criminal court and the spurious evidence used against him are a disgrace and further undermine Yemen’s legal system. Clearly Yemen’s legal system is still one of the worst in the world. I urge you to make immediate representations to have his death sentence removed and Al-Dailami and all prisoners of faith and conscience in Yemen released.
I look forward to receiving your response on what action the foreign office is taking on this case and in general on cases regarding political and religious detainees in Yemen.
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“And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! Cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper.”
Holy Qur’an: Chapter 4, Verse 75
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