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Yemen: U.S. Condemns Use of Force Against Civilians, Calls for Peaceful Transition
September 19, 2011


Interactive Dialogue with the OHCHR Mission to Yemen


UN Human Rights Council – 18th Session

Geneva, Switzerland

September 19, 2011

Madame President,

The United States would like to thank the Office of the High Commissioner for its work, including its visit to Yemen.  The High Commissioner’s report calls attention to many important human rights concerns that have developed in Yemen.
The United States remains concerned by recent human rights violations committed in Yemen, particularly the excessive force used against peaceful protesters and civilians.

The United States acknowledges the Office of the High Commissioner’s recommendations, as outlined in this report, particularly calls to end attacks against peaceful protesters and other civilians, as well as to take steps to ensure the protection of vulnerable populations, such as displaced persons, and peaceful demonstrators.  In addition, the United States strongly supports the High Commissioner’s call on the international community to urge all Yemeni parties to refrain from the use of violence.

Today’s discussion on Yemen comes against the backdrop of increasingly disturbing reports of additional violence.  According to news reports from Saana, yesterday government forces opened fire with anti-aircraft guns and automatic weapons on thousands of protestors.  The United States condemns the use of excessive force against peaceful protestors and civilians in Yemen.

Last week President Saleh delegated to the vice president the authority to bring to an end the political crisis.  We urge vice president Hadi to take immediate action to implement the transition and bring an end to the bloodshed.  The United States believes that now is the time for an immediate, peaceful and orderly transition that meets the aspirations of the Yemeni people and bring those responsible for crimes committed against peaceful protestors and other civilians to justice.

Thank You Madame President.