Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Weak Position by HRW, but Better Than Nothing: Yemen: Other States Should Freeze Officials' Assets

Forces and Gangs Kill Protesters, Attack Medical Workers in Taizz

June 4, 2011

"(Tunis) - The Yemeni government's escalating violence against largely peaceful protesters and medical workers should prompt countries around the world to freeze foreign assets of President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his top security officials, Human Rights Watch said today. Other countries should also ban all exports of arms and security equipment to Yemen, Human Rights Watch said.

During the three-day rampage in Taizz, beginning May 29, 2011, and followed by an additional attack on June 3, state security forces, in concert with pro-government assailants, shot dead at least 19 people, including a young boy and a man who bled to death after troops forced a doctor to stop tending him, witnesses and doctors told Human Rights Watch. Doctors pronounced at least eight other protesters clinically dead. They said the clashes left at least 262 people wounded. Security forces and armed gangs also burned and razed protesters' tents to force them from their sit-in site, fired on medical facilities using live ammunition, prevented medical workers from treating wounded protesters, and detained a doctor and four nurses along with two dozen protesters, the doctors and witnesses said.

"First the security forces kill and wound protesters, then they keep medical workers from treating the wounded and raze the protesters' camps to wipe out all traces of them," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "Foreign countries need to respond. They should freeze the assets of the president and other top officials until these horrendous abuses stop and those responsible are brought to account."......

..... The US, the EU, and Gulf states have condemned serious human rights violations and stepped up calls for the president to relinquish power, but have stopped short of imposing arms embargoes and individual sanctions similar to those in place against officials in Syria and Libya....."

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