Human rights group demanding official inquiry. President Saleh blames demonstration organizers for the deaths.
YOHR condemns violating right to life by riot police
SANA’A, NewsYemenThe Yemen Observatory for Human Rights has strongly condemned “the violation of people’s right to life by some riot police who blindly achieve orders of the authority”.The Yemeni rights watch said it has worriedly followed up killing four citizens and injuring 15 others in the latest demonstration in Radfan district of Lahj province on Saturday when a group of soldiers shot at protesters who gathered to prepare for a rally on Sunday that marks the 44th anniversary of southern Yemen’s uprising against British occupation in 1963 protesting against the government’s neglect to better their living conditions.
YOHR said killing protesters was a violation of rights guaranteed by Islamic Sharia, national constitution and laws and all international human rights treaties which Yemen has ratified.
The independent organization urged the government to immediately investigate the incidence and arrest military personnel who opened fire and bodies who gave direct or indirect orders to shoot at the rally.
The investigation must be comprehensive to answer the possibility of any political or reprisal motives behind the accidence, said YOHR.
“People were expressing their opinions and feelings and these are human rights which nobody can infringe,” it said.
The organization has expressed its deep concern that such attacks on people might lead to more tensions in case the authorities could not keep social peace and security and prevent human rights violations in the country.
President Saleh blamed in a speech on the 44th anniversary of 14th October Revolution on Sunday “those who provoke demonstrations” for the killing of people.
“I feel sorrow for such incidents, but those who provoke demonstrations are responsible for what happened. Our constitution guarantees freedom of each citizen to express opinion by all peaceful means, not by force,” said Saleh, according to official news agency, Saba.
People in southern Yemen complain unemployment, difficult living situation as well as confiscating lands by officers from the northern Yemen after war between south and north in 1994.