News / Middle East

Yemen Lawmakers Approve Immunity for President Saleh

Members of Yemen's Parliament raise their hands to vote in favor of a law granting immunity to outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh over the killing of protesters, in Sana'a, January 21, 2012.
Members of Yemen's Parliament raise their hands to vote in favor of a law granting immunity to outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh over the killing of protesters, in Sana'a, January 21, 2012.

Yemen's parliament has formally approved a law giving President Ali Abdullah Saleh immunity from prosecution that paves the way for him to step dwon after more than three decades in power.

The law, made possible through a deal brokered by neighboring Gulf nations, grants Saleh complete immunity from legal and judicial prosecution for any alleged crimes committed during his 33-year rule. The deal, signed by Saleh in November, was aimed at ending months of political turmoil in the country.

The new law also grants a controversial partial immunity to the president's political aides, although last-minute amendments reduced the scope of that amnesty.

Yemeni parliamentarians welcomed the law's passage saying it follows the plan brought forward by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Parliamentarian Aly Abou Khalifa said the new law will help put the country on the road to recovery.

"This law is an opportunity for national reconciliation and so that the youth can carry out their protests in a safer environment."

The immunity deal has sparked an outcry by pro-democracy activists who have driven the nearly year-long revolution. They are calling for the president to stand trial for a violent crackdown on anti-government protests in which hundreds of people died.

Yemeni activist Abdo Al Rashidy wants to reverse the legislation.

"We have to work to bring down this law. I will go to the highest court in order to reject this law which is full of mistakes."

Human Rights Watch criticized passage of the law. It said in a statement the law "sends the disgraceful message that there is no consequence for killing those who express dissent."

Yemeni officials said on Saturday that Saleh is expected to travel to Oman, before going to the United States for medical care.  

Earlier this month, a Yemeni official said Saleh had scrapped plans to receive medical treatment in the United States for injuries sustained in a bomb attack on his presidential compound in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, last June. The United States says is it considering giving the Yemeni president a visa for the trip.

Under the GCC deal, Saleh has handed authority to Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Hadi is the consensus candidate of major parties in a presidential election scheduled for February.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid