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Saleh's amnesty criticized.

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, U.S.-based Human Rights Watch group said. Yemen's cabinet proposed the immunity law for Saleh on Jan. 8 to encourage him to step down under a Gulfbrokered plan to end protests that have paralyzed the country over the past year. Washington-based Human Rights Watch said in a statement 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." U.N. human rights commissioner Navi Pillay has also voiced objections to the draft. However, the United States has defended it, saying the immunity provisions were negotiated as part of the Gulf Cooperation Council deal to get Saleh to leave power. Under the arrangement, Saleh's General People's Congress party (GPC) and the opposition Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) agreed to divide up cabinet posts between them, forming a national unity government to lead the country towards presidential elections in February.
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Title Annotation:YEMEN-SALEH
Publication:The Weekly Middle East Reporter (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Jan 13, 2012
Words:235
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