The Atrocities of Yemen’s Forces

President Saleh Is Entitled to Medical Treatment, But Not Immunity

Since anti-government protests began in Yemen a year ago, President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s forces have killed and wounded hundreds of civilians. Some of the worst attacks were in the flashpoint city of Taizz.  Security forces there attacked peaceful demonstrations, stormed and shelled hospitals, evicted patients at gunpoint, beat medics, and blocked wounded protesters from receiving medical care – leaving 120 protesters and other civilians dead.

Saleh is receiving medical treatment in New York. We don’t object to Saleh, or anyone else, getting medical care. But we do object to the immunity from prosecution granted him  and his aides by Yemen’s new caretaker government for any crimes they may have committed during his 33-year rule – including last year’s violence against protesters. Governments, including the United States, should make clear that this immunity is invalid outside of Yemen.

A new report, “No Safe Places,” is based on more than 170 interviews with protesters, doctors, and others who witnessed attacks by Yemen’s security forces and pro-government gangs. Witnesses to one attack said that security forces shot at protesters and threw gasoline bombs at their tents, killing 15 people, and that apparently indiscriminate shelling by troops killed dozens of civilians, including three women praying before a rally.

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Source – Human Rights Watch