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Security forces loyal to President Saleh continue to kill civilians with impunity

(ANHRI/IFEX) - 26 December 2011 - ANHRI condemns the ongoing repression of peaceful protesters by the pro-Saleh security forces. Most recently, the Republican Guard claimed the lives of more than seven citizens and injured many others on 24 December 2011, in the Yemeni capital of Sana'a.

Activists had staged a march, which they called the Life March, from the south to Sana'a, calling for President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his family to be brought to trial, and for their assets to be frozen. The protesters reject the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative, which guarantees Saleh a safe exit from power without facing prosecution or penalties. Activists from a number of cities joined the march and gathered in the Dar Assalam area, where the presidential palace is located. The Republican Guard and pro-Saleh forces fired teargas canisters and live ammunition at the peaceful protesters, resulting in several casualties and forcing the protesters to retreat to al-Taghyeer square.

"The Life March strayed from its track, which was limited to within Sana'a, resulting in chaos and casualties," said Military Committee spokesman Major General Ali Saeed Obaid. Meanwhile, the opposition Joint Meeting Party condemned the way the security forces handled the protesters and held the Ministry of Interior responsible for their actions.

"Saleh has to be tried for the crimes committed against the Yemeni people throughout the past month, including murders, systematic torture, collective punishment and denial of basic services like water and electricity," said ANHRI.

"It is incomprehensible that an outgoing president, against whom the people revolted, remains in power despite the fact that his hands are stained with the blood of innocent citizens who took to the streets peacefully to express their opinions," added ANHRI.

ANHRI calls on international rights organizations and other stakeholders to exert more pressure to entrench justice during the transitional phase and to bring Saleh and those who committed crimes against the people of Yemen to trial.

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