The Amnesty International research, published last Wednesday, sheds light on a practice that speaks volumes Discrimination against women in Yemen Living both in territory controlled by the internationally recognized government and in areas under the administration of the Houthi armed group.
Prisoners who have completed their sentences remain in prison In the absence of a “guardian” Taking care of them or at best transferring them to women’s shelters if their families refuse to take them home. How does this system work, he told a former warden at a Houthi-run prison in the capital, Sanaa:
If the “guardian” did not arrive, the prisoners could not be released. One has been inside for five years, and the other has waited two months for her son to show up. In 2019, a father showed up to take his daughter, then killed her a week later.
“The law prohibits remaining in prison after serving a sentence, regardless of the gender of the persons involved. One of the lawyers commented on this:
“Razia” (for security reasons we use a fictitious name), she finished serving her sentence in 2022 But no “male from the house” came to take her.
Why was he in prison? in 2021 I was raped by a neighbor Her husband’s family reported the charge of adultery to the authorities. She tried, and was sentenced to a year in prison. Her husband asked for and was granted a divorce, and her family rejected it. The administration of Taiz Central Prison transferred “Razia” to Center for the Protection and Rehabilitation of Women and GirlsWhere he was for seven months.
Here is what he told Amnesty International:
I ended up in prison because I was raped. They sent me to the shelter because my husband divorced me and my family didn’t want me back. I feel depressed and sad. I lost my children and my husband and my family abandoned me. I am depressed. I don’t have anywhere else to go. I hope one day to get out of here and get a job and start a new life.”
In the Taiz shelter, which opened in 2020, they are 23 women passed who have finished serving their sentences. Now, with Razia, there are six more. Two in downtown Aden and three in downtown Sana’a. These centers offer tangible hope for a fresh start: they offer rehabilitation programs and vocational training courses and try, though often with limited success, to reconcile families and ex-convicts so they can return home.
When the ex-convicts are ready to return to normal life, one last hurdle remains to be overcome: Prison administration approval.
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