UN must act: Nobel peace laureate


Yemen’s Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkul Karman said the UN must act “immediately and decisively” to halt a deadly government crackdown on protesters calling for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to resign. Karman urged the United Nations “to take immediate and decisive action to stop the massacres and hold the perpetrators accountable,” in a letter to UN chief Ban Ki-moon. “This is the only thing that will give Yemenis … belief that international justice exists … and that it extends far enough to reach Saleh, his gang and all the despots who continue to kill innocents.” “Protect the peaceful protesters in Yemen,” she wrote in the letter, addressing the Security Council. “In the name of the victims and in the name of our people, I call on you to take Saleh and his regime to the International Criminal Court.”
The Security Council is currently drafting a resolution calling on all sides to stop the violence and for Saleh to sign a Gulf Cooperation Council initiative and step down. The UN human rights office condemned the killing of peaceful protesters by security forces. “We condemn in the strongest terms the reported killing of a number of largely peaceful protesters in Sanaa and Taez as a result of the indiscriminate use of force by Yemeni security forces since Saturday,” said Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. “We are extremely concerned that security forces continue to use excessive force in a climate of complete impunity for crimes resulting in heavy loss of life and injury, despite repeated pledges by the government to the contrary,” he added. Colville said an independent and transparent international inquiry should be held into the killings so that those responsible could be prosecuted.