Human Rights Watch: Yemen should reject Saleh immunity law

January 11, 2012 12:43

DUBAI, Jan 11 (Reuters) - A Yemeni government proposal to grant President Ali Abdullah Saleh amnesty in return for his speedy exit is an affront to thousands who suffered under his rule and should be rejected by the parliament, US-based Human Rights Watch group said.

Yemen's cabinet proposed the immunity law for Saleh on Sunday to encourage him to step down under a Gulf-brokered plan to end protests that have paralysed the country over the past year.

Washington-based Human Rights Watch said in a statement late on Tuesday that the measure could result in impunity for serious crimes such as deadly attacks on anti-government demonstrators in 2011.

"Passing this law would be an affront to thousands of victims of Saleh's repressive rule, including the relatives of peaceful protesters shot dead last year," said Sarah Leah Whitson, the group's executive Middle East director.

"Yemeni authorities should be locking up those responsible for serious crimes, not rewarding them with a license to kill."

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