September 13, 2011
September 13, 2011
UN News Center
The report notes that hundreds of people have been killed and thousands injured since the crackdown on protesters began. In several cases, Government forces prevented wounded demonstrators from accessing hospitals or turned away doctors or ambulances.
Civil unrest in Yemen has escalated since the start of this year, as it has across much of North Africa and the Middle East, with public protests calling for political reform and greater democracy.
The assessment team observed “an overall situation where many Yemenis peacefully calling for greater freedoms, an end to corruption and respect for rule of law were met with excessive and disproportionate use of lethal force by the state,” according to the report.
During its visit, the team witnessed the deployment of tanks in Ta’izz and shelling of the city at night, as well as signs of collective punishment, causing severe hardship to the civilian population, including disruption of access to electricity, fuel and water.
It also received many reports of children having been subjected to the same extreme violence as adults, including killings, injury, suffocation from gas, torture, arbitrary detention, and recruitment by security forces. Children have been seen in uniform patrolling the streets, serving at Government checkpoints and involved in searching protestors.
“The Government must undertake immediate measures to end the use and recruitment of children, demobilize those who have already been recruited and cooperate with the United Nations for their integration into their communities,” the report states.
“All prisoners detained for the peaceful exercise of their freedom of expression and assembly must be immediately and unconditionally released,” it adds.
The team visited Aden, Sana’a and Ta’izz and met with key officials, including the Vice-President, leaders of political parties and members of Parliament as well as representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), lawyers, journalists, doctors, human rights defenders, victims of violations and their relatives.