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Protesters in Sana'a rally for Saleh trial despite shootings

Thousands call for his execution after forces kill 13 demonstrators

  • AFP
  • Published: 00:00 December 26, 2011
  • Gulf News

Anti-government protesters attend a funeral procession
  • Image Credit: Reuters
  • Anti-government protesters attend a funeral procession after a rally to demand the trial of Yemen’s outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sana’a on Sunday.

Sana'a: Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Yemen's capital yesterday calling for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to face trial, a day after his forces and loyalists killed 13 people at a similar demonstration.

"The people want to bring the slaughterer to trial," shouted the protesters who marched from Change Square, epicentre of the uprising that began nearly a year ago, towards Sittin Avenue in the northern district of Sana'a.

"We won't rest until the slaughterer is executed," they chanted. "We don't want Abd Rabbo, Ali Saleh controls him," they chanted, referring to Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, the vice-president.

Saleh is still honorary president but handed authority over to Hadi last month when he signed a Gulf-brokered deal in which he won immunity from prosecution in exchange for ending his 33-year rule when polls are held in February.

Angry youths have staged defiant protests against the plan, which is backed by the United Nations, despite a bloody backlash by Saleh's forces and loyalists that has seen hundreds of them killed.

Parliament to confirm

But Saleh's General People's Congress (GPC) party insisted yesterday that the parliament would confirm the immunity deal.

"Measures will be taken to issue the immunity law as per the Gulf plan" after a parliamentary vote of confidence on the newly formed unity government expected this week, Sultan Al Barakani, who represents the GPC's bloc in parliament, told AFP.

The veteran leader said on Saturday that he would soon visit the United States ahead of transferring power following a February 21 presidential election.

A diplomat from one of the countries that has sponsored the deal, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Saleh has presented "a list of 412 people" he wants the immunity deal to include.

The list includes his relatives, aides and officials who had worked with him during his rule, the source said, adding that Saleh was given a US visa "two weeks ago".

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