End violence against civilians

21 March 2011

Despite repeated calls from the international community, the regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen continues to use extreme force and violence in an attempt to bring an end to protests. The International utterly condemns the killing of 52 protesters last Friday, many targeted by snipers in a chilling and criminal massacre and further violence that has taken place in recent days. We offer our condolences to the victims of these and all other acts of aggression carried by the Yemeni authorities against their own people.

Those fighting for democracy and freedoms in Yemen and across the region have our full support, and the SI Presidium, meeting in Athens on 19 March, expressed its full solidarity with the Yemeni Socialist Party, whose leader Yassin Noman is the current rotating head of Yemen’s opposition coalition.

The complete disregard shown by the regime for the lives of Yemeni people is intolerable, and President Saleh must now stand down. The defections of senior military, political and diplomatic figures clearly indicate that he has lost the support of key allies through his violent and repressive actions. Avoiding further civilian deaths must be a priority, and we welcome the decision of some military commanders to protect the protesters. Yemen and its people deserve to recover their freedoms and rights, and to determine their own future through democracy. Now is the time to put that democracy in place.