Yemen has seen great changes in the past two years: Human rights official

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Flavia Pansieri, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights

Yemen has seen great changes in the past two years, according to the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Flavia Pansieri.

She said it was a difficult time but also a time for people to come together in an innovative way through the National Dialogue, which aims to find a solution through dialogue to the country's many challenges.

Ms. Pansieri noted that the ongoing political transition in Yemen is clearly at a critical juncture and the National Dialogue Conference is a welcome initiative.

However, the Deputy human rights chief said little progress has been made on a draft law on transitional justice and national reconciliation.

She also regretted that the appointment of the members of the Commission of Inquiry into the 2011 events is still pending.

And, the capacity of the judiciary to be free, independent and fair has been put to the test in the past years.

Ms. Pansieri noted that significant challenges have also been recorded with regard to the juvenile penal system, namely on the execution of minors charged with murder.

She says the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights' position remains that the death penalty should be abolished.

The deputy high commissioner said the road ahead is still a steep one. The future of Yemen cannot be built on impunity for past violations whenever and wherever they occurred.

And she urged an extra effort by the President and his Government to ensure that human rights are not sacrificed for the sake of political expediency.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration:  1’20″

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