Yemen: Reject Immunity Law for President Saleh and Aides
Human Rights Watch
10 January 2012
Yemen’s parliament should reject a draft law that would grant amnesty to President Ali Abdullah Saleh and anyone who served with him for crimes committed during his 33-year rule, Human Rights Watch said today. The sweeping measure could result in impunity for serious international crimes such as deadly attacks on anti-government demonstrators in 2011. (…)
The draft law, which the parliament is expected to debate as early as January 11, 2012, violates Yemen’s obligations under international law to investigate and prosecute serious international crimes such as torture, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch said. (…)
(…) Bowing to international pressure and 10 months of protests against his rule, Saleh agreed in November to cede power under an accord brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). In exchange, the GCC deal instructed Yemen’s parliament, which the ruling party dominates, to act on an immunity law before Saleh is to step down formally on February 21, 2012.
The granting of immunity would not prevent courts in other countries from prosecuting serious human rights crimes in Yemen under universal jurisdiction, Human Rights Watch said. (…)
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