Revised immunity law angers Yemeni opposition

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Revised immunity law angers Yemeni opposition

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Human rights groups and the opposition in Yemen have condemned a draft law granting immunity to outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The bill, which will be discussed in parliament on Saturday, will protect his aides only from

“politically motivated” crimes. Human Rights Watch has described it as a “licence to kill,” that lets Saleh’s henchmen off the hook.

But one ruling party member disagreed. At a pro-Saleh rally in Sanaa he said: “They (his aides) will be held responsible for other acts, and they will stand trial. All of the stolen and looted money taken from people will be dealt with in trial.”

An earlier version of the bill had given Saleh’s associates total immunity. The President is standing down under a deal hammered out by Yemen’s wealthy neighbouring states in November. It is thought hundreds of people were killed in months of protest against his rule.