Yemen: Presidential elections and beyond? The challenge of a calm transition

20/02/2012
Report
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Regardless of the outcome, the presidential election of February 21st, 2012 will mark a turning point in the political life in Yemen, hopefully opening the way for a process of true political transition.

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) calls upon the transitional authorities of Yemen to support a break with the past and to take the necessary measures to ensure the establishment of rule of law and the protection of human rights. "Strong action needs to be taken to ensure that serious crimes that have been committed, especially during the last year, are not repeated," said Souhayr Belhassen, President of FIDH. "However, the signing of the Gulf Cooperation Council agreement has endorsed a culture of impunity. The transitional authorities must condemn the immunity clause of this agreement and repeal Law No. 1-2012 as soon as possible", Belhassen added.

In the report published today Yemen: Impunity Sanctioned, Transition Threatened FIDH outlines the violations of human rights committed during the repression of protest movement from February to December 2011. In this report, FIDH calls for the establishment of an international independent investigation commission into these facts, and warns the Yemeni authorities of the consequences of a policy of impunity based on granting immunity to those responsible for grave human rights violations, in serious breach of international law.

Protests continue in Yemen, mainly by some of the former opposition to President Saleh such as the Youth Revolution, but also by activists in the South and North of the country. Among several issues condemned by the protested, a main concern remains the immunity granted to Ali Abdullah Saleh and his allies in accordance with the terms of the GCC initiative and the law (law No.1-2012) that was consequently adopted.

While the security situation remains volatile and of great concern, particularly because of the ongoing armed clashes in several parts of the country between government forces and both islamiist groups and Houthi insurgents and salafist groups, Belhassen reminded the transitional authorities that they will have the responsibility to restore public confidence towards the authorities and this necessarily involves ensuring the right to the truth and justice.”

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Report on Yemen 2012
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