January 9, 2012
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay 6 January told Yemen’s lawmakers that they must not go ahead with a proposed amnesty law that would protect those who commit war crimes. Her office has recently sent a team to Yemen to study the situation there and prepare a report on the country, where protests have grown in recent months.
“I have been closely following the events in Yemen, particularly the very contentious debate about an amnesty law to be presented to Parliament shortly,” the high commissioner said. “International law and the UN policy are clear on the matter: amnesties are not permissible if they prevent the prosecution of individuals who may be criminally responsible for international crimes including war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and gross violations of human rights.”
“Based on information we have gathered, there is reason to believe that some of these crimes were committed in Yemen during the period for which an amnesty is under consideration. Such an amnesty would be in violation of Yemen’s international human rights obligations.”