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Video clip: Judicial or prison whippings in Yemen


With notes by C. Farrell

As far as I know, this is the first time we have seen pictures, whether still or moving, of JCP in Yemen. It appears from this 2-minute video clip that the procedure is similar to that in neighbouring Saudi Arabia -- a large number of very rapid strokes with an unusually whippy cane, ranging over the whole of the person's back from shoulders to ankles. The operator appears to be following the traditional Koranic guidance not to raise his upper arm, so the strokes are quite soft. Thus in four respects -- quantity, speed, targeting and power -- this is not at all what we mean by a caning in normal British discourse.

 Three prisoners are seen being punished, for what reason we do not know. The first is a woman, and I think the second and third ones are men, though it is hard to be sure. They are all wearing the same shade of blue, so maybe that is what passes for a prison uniform. Each receives between 50 and 100 strokes in a simple standing-up-straight position. The action seems to be taking place in a street (note the passers-by), but conceivably it could be a prison yard or court premises. The basis for JCP in Yemen is Sharia law, and it is said to be imposed most often for such offences as drinking alcohol.


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