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Yemenis call for prosecuting former president

Thousands of Yemenis called on Sunday for prosecuting former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Jurists say prosecuting him is in keeping with both Yemeni and international law.

Demonstrators who are calling for the prosecution said that they have "lost patience" with the Judiciary because of its procrastination in bringing Saleh to justice over committing genocide against the martyrs, wounded and disabled during the time of the revolution.


The Yemeni parliament immunised Saleh and his relatives from any prosecution after he handed over power.

In a statement prepared on behalf of the demonstrators, Mohamed Al-Shalif called on the Yemeni public prosecutor to "immediately bring Saleh to justice."

Representatives of the demonstrators also met with the public prosecutor, who promised them to file a lawsuit against Saleh, but explained that it must be filed by lawyers, and it must be accompanied by evidence in full compliance with Yemeni law.

However, observers said that prosecuting Saleh does not only require a judicial decision against him; it also needs a political decision.

Regarding the immunity that Saleh currently enjoys, the head of the National Committee for the Defence of Rights and Freedoms, Mohamed Elawe, affirmed that killing peaceful demonstrators "is classified as genocide and a crime against humanity."

Elawe stated that not prosecuting Saleh "is unforgivable". Inaction also goes against the initiative of the Gulf States, which upholds the spirit of Yemeni law. He said that Yemeni law respects international treaties and conventions, and thus considers the killing of peaceful demonstrators a crime against humanity.

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