07 June 2005 :

the life of Amina al-Abduladif, a 21-year-old mother, was spared shortly before she was due to face a firing squad as appeals by British ministers and others prompted the Yemeni President to suspend the execution.
Amina’s lawyer was with her in prison when the last-minute reprieve came. Shada Nasir said: "She was shaking and crying. She had said her prayers and her farewells and was sure she was going to die. What we don't know is whether the execution has been delayed for a day or a week as no one will tell us.
"She is still very frightened and confused about what happens now."
Officials in the capital, Sanaa, said President Ali Abdullah Saleh was "moved" when he learned of the plight of Amina, who was convicted of murdering her husband when she was 16 despite insisting that her confession was forced from her under torture.
The President asked justice ministers to look again at her case and her lawyers are demanding a new trial.
For the moment, Amina remained on death row with her two-year-old son, who was born in jail after she was allegedly raped by a prison guard. She had gone on a hunger strike after a prison official told her he had read in a newspaper that her execution date had been set for May 2.
"I have pleaded with her to eat something and to have hope," Ms Nasir said. "She is very grateful for all those abroad who protested about her case. We believe it was this international intervention that saved her, as here she had become forgotten."
Ms Nasir hoped the authorities would order an investigation into who raped the young mother. Prison officials only learned of the attack when she was facing her executioners two years ago and told them she was pregnant.
"What has been done to this young woman by the police and the judicial system is shameful," Ms Nasir said. "She has spent years in prison for a crime she didn't commit and was raped while in custody."
Witnesses said Amina’s husband was killed by his cousin in a family dispute in January 1998, but their evidence was not presented during the trial in May 1999. Amina had described how she made a false confession after being beaten and sexually assaulted. Mr Saleh also wanted to know why the courts broke their own rules by handing a death sentence to someone who was under 18 at the time.

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