UN's Pillay: Yemen peace-deal amnesty may be unlawful

January 6, 2012 22:48

GENEVA - Granting amnesty to perpetrators of war crimes and human rights absuses under Yemen's presidential power transition deal would be against international law, the United Nations human rights chief said on Friday, undermining the peace agreement.

"I have been closely following the events in Yemen, particularly the very contentious debate about an amnesty law to be presented to Parliament shortly," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said in a statement.

Pillay has previously blamed Yemeni government forces for using live ammunition against unarmed protesters and has said President Ali Abdullah Saleh should not get amnesty in a deal to persuade him to leave power.

"International law and the UN policy are clear on the matter: amnesties are not permissible if they prevent the prosecution of individuals who may be criminally responsible for international crimes including war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and gross violations of human rights."

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