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UN chief condemns use of excessive force against unarmed protesters in Yemen


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UN chief condemns use of excessive force against unarmed protesters in Yemen

2011-09-20 13:26:45 GMT+7 (ICT)

UNITED NATIONS (BNO NEWS) -- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday condemned the "excessive use of force" by Yemeni security forces against unarmed protesters, resulting in scores of people being killed in the past few days.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Ban called on the country's authorities to protect civilians and uphold their obligations under international law. Dozens of people have been killed and scores injured in the past days after troops loyal to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh opened fire on protesters in the capital Sanaa.

According to Amnesty International, around 26 people were killed and hundreds injured on Sunday after security forces used snipers and rocket-propelled grenades against protesters demanding the resignation of President Saleh. The continuing violence was more victims in Sanaa on Monday, the rights group said.

UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kyung-wha Kang said on Monday that the Yemeni Government could not use its contention that it was fighting terrorists and supporters of the Al-Qaida movement as a pretext to attack peaceful demonstrators. She told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that a mission from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights had identified serious violations including arbitrary arrest, cases of torture and withholding of medical treatment as reprisals for taking part in the protests.

Amnesty International called on the UN Human Rights Council, which is debating the situation in Yemen, to urge the Yemeni authorities to order the security forces to immediately cease their use of live ammunition against peaceful protesters. More than 1,500 people are estimated to have been killed as a result of the uprising which began in February.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-09-20

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