Yemen: Yemeni Parliament approves the ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

A letter from WLUML contacts welcomes the inclusion of Yemen as the fourth member country of the Arab League to the ICC.
"We are very excited to inform you that on Saturday 24 March 2007, the Yemeni House of Representatives, after four hours of heated debate, voted in favor of ratification of the Rome Statute of the ICC.

With this historic vote, Yemen can officially deposit its instrument of ratification and become the 105th state party to the ICC and the fourth Arab League member to the Court. Thus far Jordan, Djibouti, and Comoros, which are members of the Arab League are States Parties to the Court.

Nabil Al-Basha, MP from the ruling party, the General People's Congress (GPC), described the debate as the "fiercest debate that the parliament has ever had in discussing any human rights convention." He added: "We are happy that Yemen will now be in the company of countries that defend and protect human rights and it is an honor for the Yemeni parliament to have achieved such a historical achievement."

Amal Basha, the CICC MENA Coordinator, stated; "Today is one of the happiest days of my life! We have been working on ratification over the last two years within the Yemeni coalition for ICC and Sisters Arab Forum, with the critical support of the CICC Secretariat, FIDH, NPWJ, Amnesty International, and other CICC members in Yemen and internationally. We faced a number of accusations including subjecting the sovereignty of the state to violations, apostasy, being an agent of the west, implementing foreign agendas, etc. However, we remained firm in our campaign because we believe in justice and we want the region to contribute to the international justice system."

This major step puts Yemen in a leading role and makes it an important example for other Arab states, which will hopefully follow suit and join Yemen in ratifying the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to prove their support to this new mechanism of international justice.

Warmest regards and hearty congratulations to colleagues in Yemen!"

Sisters Arab Forum for Human Rights (SAF) / Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC)