Coalition calls for inquiry into Yemen violence

Yemen's main opposition parties want international organizations to investigate violence that has swept the country.
Followers of the Yemeni opposition man a checkpoint on a street leading to their stronghold in the southern city of Taiz yesterday.
Followers of the Yemeni opposition man a checkpoint on a street leading to their stronghold in the southern city of Taiz yesterday.

SANAA // The Joint Meeting Parties, Yemen's main opposition coalition, has called for an international investigation into the violence that has plagued the country since mass protests were launched in February.

"We in the JMP ... demand a fair international investigation into all crimes, killings and violence incidents ... including the attack on the presidential compound ... across the country in order to uncover the killers and criminals and present them to justice," the JMP said a statement late on Sunday.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh was injured in a bomb attack on the mosque at his presidential compound in Sanaa in February. He was discharged from a Saudi hospital in Riyadh, where he had been receiving treatment, on Saturday and remains in Saudi Arabia.

Mohammed Al Sabri, an opposition leader, said the JMP did not have a specific body in mind to carry out theinquiry. "We just want ... fairness regardless [of] who should do it, whether it is the UN [United Nations] or ICC [International Crimal Court]," which is based in The Hague, Mr Al Sabri said. The JMP denied government officials' accusations that some of its parties have links to the attack on the presidential compound and the political manipulation of the violent incidents. It accused the presidential security detail, which is led by Mr Saleh's nephew, for the attack on his compound.

Abdo Al Janadi, deputy information minister, said during a news conference last month that elements in the opposition were involved in the attack. "Some parties involved in the current crisis have hands in the attack," he said.

Government officials, however, said investigations into the attack were still going on, the state media reported on Sunday.

The JMP also said on Sunday it rejected the trial of suspected killers during a demonstration on March 18 in which more than 50 protesters were killed. The JMP said it considered the trial a "ploy", and supported the decision of the victims' families in not recognising the legitimacy of the tribunal.

Lawyers for the victims' families said during a news conference on Saturday they would continue to boycott the trial of 78 suspects, including 34 who are being tried in absentia, which started on July 9.

More than 200 protesters have been killed since the protests demanding the removal of Mr Saleh started in February.

Yesterday, the JMP set August 17 as the date for the general assembly meeting to choose a leadership "to lead the forces of revolution and the revolutionary and political change process".

Published: August 9, 2011 04:00 AM


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