- Human Rights groups say Raja Hakimi acted in self-defence
- Sentence raised on appeal from two years in jail to death by hanging
By Eddie Wrenn
PUBLISHED: 07:28 EST, 22 October 2012 | UPDATED: 15:32 EST, 22 October 2012
A court in Yemen has sentenced a woman to death after she opened fire on a male relative who ‘climbed up the wall of her house in an attempt to rape her’.
Raja Hakimi was originally sentenced to two years in jail for the ‘murder’ of of her unnamed relative – but human rights groups both in the country and abroad say the Court of Appeal raised the sentence due to influences from the deceased’s family members.
Groups such as Women Journalists Without Chains say the woman acted in self-defence, calling it an ‘unjust ruling, which violates all legislation and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’, Al Arabiya News reported.
WJWC said that Hakimi was ‘only defending herself’ against the armed man, who allegedly decided to exploit the absence of the woman’s husband and rape her.
Her defenders say that a panicked Hakimi grabbed her husband’s gun when she saw the man and opened fire.
He fell to the ground and died, and neighbours – seeing the body in the morning – called the police.
Hakimi pleaded guilty to murder but insisted that that she killed the relative in self-defense. The man was also allegedly carrying a gun.
The district court in the southern province of Ibb originally sentenced Hakimi to two years in jail.
But Abdulrakeb Alhimyari, the deputy general director of legal affairs in Ibb, told Al Arabiya that killing was ‘possibly planned beforehand’.
He quoted other family members who said that ‘justice was finally held’ and also claimed family members who said the man was ‘dragged into the house’ to be killed.
The WJWC said her defence was not taken into consideration by the appeals court, leading to the judgement of death by hanging.