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Group: Yemen failed to probe killing of protesters

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 12, 2013 at 10:54 am •  Published: February 12, 2013

The report said 43 of the 78 suspects whom prosecutors indicted in June 2011 were listed as fugitives from justice, but 31 of them were never apprehended and the other 12 disappeared after they were provisionally released pending the outcome of the trial. 27 defendants were released on bail.

In October, the victims' lawyers filed a motion in court demanding the indictment of at least 11 additional government officials for the shootings, including Saleh, his nephew and former interior minister. The trial judge in the case however sent the motion to the Supreme Court to investigate its validity in light of the immunity law. The trial has been suspended waiting for the Supreme Court decision.

Besides reopening the investigations, HRW recommended that the Yemeni government "ensure all those implicated, regardless of position or rank, are arrested and appropriately prosecuted," and that Yemen "comply with international obligations prohibiting immunity from prosecution for those responsible for serious human rights violations."

It also called on the UN Security Council, Gulf Cooperation Council, European Union, United States and other concerned countries to impose an asset freeze and travel ban on current and former officials implicated in the attack and other serious human rights violations.

Several Saleh loyalists attending the news conference, tried to interrupt the proceedings by yelling and shouting, but others ignored them and the news conference went on uninterrupted.