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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 192nd session
(Quito, 27 March 2013)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Having before it the case of Mr. Ahmed Saif Hashed, an opposition member of the Parliament of Yemen, which has been examined by the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, pursuant to the Procedure for the treatment by the Inter-Parliamentary Union of communications concerning violations of the human rights of members of parliament,

Considering that, according to the sources, Mr. Hashed has, on account of his human rights work, been the target of repeated threats and constant harassment,

Taking into account the letter from the Secretary General of the House of Representatives, dated 20 February 2013, and the information provided by the source in February and March 2013,

Considering the following information on file: on 12 February 2013, Mr. Hashed was attacked and seriously wounded by five soldiers as he and others took part in a sit-in outside the Council of Ministers office to demand appropriate consideration under the law for injuries sustained during the demonstrations in 2011; according to the source, Mr. Hashed started losing his balance after having been struck twice on the head by the soldiers; the source affirms that protesters then tried to intervene to help Mr. Hashed but suffered the same treatment and that the soldiers again tried to grab Mr. Hashed but were blocked by protesters who had moved between them and him; the soldiers then threw tear gas canisters at the crowd; according to the source, Mr. Hashed narrowly escaped with his life thanks to the help of protesters who covered him with a blanket and rushed him to an ambulance; the office guards were also deployed to help him and allow the ambulance to reach him; Mr. Hashed was taken for treatment to the intensive care unit at a hospital in Sana’a,

Considering that the attack came after Amnesty International had issued a public warning on 6 February 2013 against the use of unlawful force against protestors,

Considering that, according to the source, the incident was not simply an attack but an attempt on Mr. Hashed’s life orchestrated by high-level officials, including the Interior Minister and the head of the Central Security Organization, in view of the following:

  • The five anti-riot soldiers who perpetrated the attack were affiliated to the Interior Ministry;

  • Although they had never been to the sit-in area during the two previous weeks of protests, the five soldiers started surveying it early in the morning, while the protesters were still asleep, according to the source’s photo evidence; the anti-riot forces deployed usually remained inside their vehicles and did not approach the protesters;

  • On 12 February, the five soldiers approached and repeatedly provoked the protesters, especially the women, with verbal insults; according to the source, there is photographic and eyewitness evidence of this;

  • The face of one of the five soldiers, possibly the one who took the lead in the attack was covered; he was standing in front of the radio station before the incident, but then moved to the side where the protesters were;

  • A senior anti-riot officer, Brigadier-General Almaqdashi, met with the five soldiers in front of the office about half an hour before the incident;

  • After Mr. Hashed lodged a complaint against the Interior Minister and the head of the Central Security Organization, the latter visited him in hospital and asked him to withdraw his accusations,
Considering that, according to the Secretary General of the House of Representatives, the government has expressed deep regret for the assault on Mr. Hashed and, following a call from the Prime Minister, the public prosecutor and the Interior Minister set up a panel of inquiry headed by the Ministry's under-secretary to investigate the attack as soon as possible and to make its findings public and submit them to the public prosecutor,

Considering that the source does not believe that the panel of inquiry, in its current composition, can establish the facts independently since the Interior Minister, who is the highest-level suspect in the attack, is involved in the investigation and both the Interior Minister and the head of the Central Security Organization, according to source, were still refusing to cooperate with the judicial authorities one month after the panel’s establishment,

Considering the following: the source fears that the attack on Mr. Hashed will remain unpunished and has indicated, in that regard, that under the law the judicial authorities are obliged to collect evidence and refer defendants and suspects to the prosecution within 24 hours; this did not happen in this case; on 23 March 2013, Mr. Hashed started a sit-in inside the House of Representatives, demanding that the perpetrators of the assassination attempt be brought to justice and protesting against the refusal of the head of the Central Security Organization and the Interior Minister to respond to the public prosecutor’s official request that they hold the culprits to account, and against the House of Representatives’ failure to question the Interior Minister on the case,

  1. Thanks the Secretary General of the House of Representatives for his communication and cooperation;

  2. Is deeply concerned that Mr. Hashed was brutally attacked in the course of a peaceful protest and that some of those who tried to help him were likewise assaulted; is particularly concerned at the allegations that the attack was premeditated and carried out with the acquiescence or at the instigation of senior State officials;

  3. Is pleased that the authorities swiftly condemned the attack and set up a panel of inquiry to shed light on how it occurred and establish accountability for it;

  4. Is deeply worried nevertheless that the persons who are directly in charge of overseeing the work of the panel of inquiry are also accused of being the instigators of the attack; considers thatthe panel’s failure to produce its report and bring about the arrest of the attackers, even though the incident occurred in the presence of multiple witnesses, and the alleged refusal to cooperate with the public prosecutor lend weight to the claim that the investigation is not independent;

  5. Urges the authorities to do everything required to ensure that the attack on Mr. Hashed is fully investigated and that the culprits, including the instigators, are held to account; considers in this respect that, in the continued absence of any results by the panel of inquiry, the public prosecutor should be allowed to take direct charge of the investigation; wishes to receive the observations of the authorities on this point;

  6. Considers that parliament has a particular interest in making sure that the attack on one of its members is properly investigated and sanctioned; wishes to know what steps parliament is taking to monitor the investigation, including by questioning the Interior Minister, as suggested by Mr. Hashed;

  7. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the parliamentary authorities and to the source;

  8. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and to report back to it in due course.
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