March 18 2011
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton called Friday on Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh to stop violence against peaceful protesters.
“I am dismayed by the reports coming from Yemen. I have repeatedly and unreservedly condemned the use of violence against protesters in Sanaa and other cities, and the loss of life,” Ashton said in a statement.
“Human rights and fundamental freedoms must be fully respected. President Saleh must stand by his commitments to uphold the right to peaceful protest, as he announced on 10 March. I ask him to stop violence now,” she said.
Saleh ordered a state of emergency Friday after regime loyalists killed at least 41 protestors in the deadliest incident in weeks of unrest, according to medics.
The bloodshed brought the death toll to more than 70 since the outbreak of demonstrations calling for Saleh to step down after 32 years in power in late January.