Yemen: Speaker of Parliament declares readiness to ratify ICC

Amal Ibrahim
The Yemen Observer

SANA’A - Yemen’s Parliament will soon ratify the Rome Agreement to recognize the International Criminal Court, Speaker of Parliament Abdullah Bin Hussein Al-Ahmar declared last week. “The establishment of the International Criminal Court will contribute to reducing the domination of big countries over smaller ones,” he said.

Secretary General of General People’s Congress Party Dr. Abdul-Karim Al-Eryani said the court is considered the first international permanent independent court, but it does not replace national justice. Foreign Minister Dr. Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi said it was important to make amendments to Yemeni law to fit with the statutes of the court, considering that the integration between national laws and international laws is very important to protect human rights and democracy.

If it ratifies the ICC, Yemen will be the 92nd country to recognize the authority of the court. This will allow Yemen to take part in forming the international judicial body, and will give the court greater power to try persons accused of committing crimes against humanity.

The United States under the Bush administration has been a vocal opponent of the court, however, even going so far as to back out of commitments made during the Clinton administration. The US is now making private deals with individual countries, including Romania, Israel and East Timor, not to hand American citizens over to the court should they be accused of war crimes or crimes against humanity.