No immunity for Saleh: Yemeni women

Thousands of Yemeni women have taken to the streets of the country’s capital to protest against a proposed law that would give outgoing dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh immunity from prosecution.

“We reject immunity and we came out today to say no to this immunity because there has been bloodshed, women have been widowed and households

have been destroyed — there are so many things that have been lost,” said a protester on Tuesday in Sana’a. 

Another said, “We reject any kind of immunity or assurances granted to this butcher.” 

On Monday, Yemen’s interim government approved the draft version of the law, which grants amnesty ‘against legal and judicial prosecution’ to Saleh and his aides, “who worked with him in all government, civil, and military departments during the years of his rule.” 

The draft law needs to be approved by the parliament. 

On November 23, 2011, Saleh signed a power transfer deal, under which he agreed to hand over the rule to Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi and step down within 90 days of inking the accord in return for the immunity. 

Yemeni demonstrators hold Saleh responsible for killing hundreds of protesters during the government’s crackdown on the popular uprising against the regime that began in late January 2011. 

Amnesty International said on Monday that the draft law is “a smack in the face for justice, made all the more glaring by the fact that protesters have been calling for an end to impunity since mass protests began in early 2011.” 

“The Yemeni parliament ought to reject this outright,” it added. 

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