Monday, 28 June 2010

Yemen Jews demand execution of killer

Source: Middle East Online


Jewish protesters call for speeding up of execution of Yemeni killer sentenced to death last year. SANAA - A small group of Yemeni Jews demonstrated on Monday in Sanaa demanding a final ruling against a Yemeni man sentenced to death last year for killing a Jewish father-of-nine in 2008.

An appeals court in Amran, north of the capital, had in June last year sentenced Abdel Aziz Yahia al-Abdi, 39, to death by firing squad for the murder of Masha Yaish Nahari, a member of Yemen's tiny Jewish community, in the town of Raydah, but the sentence must be confirmed by the supreme court.

Around 20 demonstrators gathered outside the supreme court and the ministry of justice demanding the speeding up of the court process, a media correspondent reported.

Justice minister Ghazi al-Aghbari told representatives of the demonstrators that the process was taking time due to the high number of cases being revised by the supreme court.

The appeals court had turned over a lower court verdict that ordered Abdi to only pay 27,500 dollars in blood money in lieu of execution after medical reports found he was "mentally abnormal."

Abdi killed his wife five years ago but was spared prison at the time when he was ruled to be mentally unstable.

Yemen's remaining Jewish community is made of around 400 people, most of whom live in the Amran area. In 1948, the country's Jewish community numbered some 60,000.

But in the three years following the creation of Israel that year, more than 48,000 emigrated to there.

The community continued to dwindle in subsequent decades and by the early 1990s it numbered only around 1,000 people.

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