As large numbers of peaceful protesters continue to take to the streets demanding the fall of President Ali Abdallah Saleh, armed government supporters have attacked them. Since Saturday, 15th of October, at least 34 demonstrators, two of which were dissident soldiers, have been reportedly killed and more than 100 injured when they were marching to areas of governmental buildings of the Yemeni capital. There were also reports of snipers shooting at the protesters.
Parallel to this ongoing deadly repression of protests, Sanaa still witnesses alarming violence between pro-Ali Abdullah Saleh forces and the armed opposition. Heavy fighting has been reported ranging from rockets and mortars to heavy machine guns leading to the death of dozens and many more injured.
The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) strongly condemns the relentless use of excessive force to crush peaceful protests . FIDH is moreover extremely alarmed at the increasing level of violence between pro-Ali Abdullah Saleh forces and the armed opposition which further impacts the dire humanitarian situation that the population is facing. FIDH calls upon both sides to refrain from the use of force and to guarantee the protection of civilians.
While the UN Security Council could adopt a long-awaited resolution on the situation in Yemen in the coming days. FIDH stresses that such resolution must call for the prosecution of the perpetrators of grave human rights violations following the deployment of an international independent investigation commission. “ By referring consistently to the political initiative of the Gulf Cooperation Council which grants immunity to President Ali Abdullah Saleh, his family and potentially to a wider group of perpetrators of gross violations, the international community runs the risk to contravene international law ” said Souhayr Belhassen, President of FIDH. “ Any political solution must ensure that the rights of victims to justice and compensation are upheld. The Security Council must act accordingly ”, she added.