Yemen president declares state of emergency

[JURIST] Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh [official website, in Arabic] declared a state of emergency [text, in Arabic] throughout the country on Friday. The state of emergency will last 30 days and gives security forces greater powers to maintain order and also includes a ban on citizens carrying arms in public. There is also a possibility that the state of emergency includes a curfew. The decree came after 25 protesters were killed [Reuters report] on Friday at an anti-government rally in the country's capital of Sana'a. Police were present at the rally to ensure control, but Saleh stated at a press conference [statement, in Arabic] that the police did not use live rounds on the crowd and that the shootings were the result of confrontations between protesters and local residents. Saleh stated that a "committee of neutral bodies" will investigate the incident and called those killed during the protest "martyrs of democracy."

Yemen is not the first country to declare a state of emergency in the midst of anti-government protests this week. On Sunday, Bahraini lawmakers called on King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa [official website] to declare a state of emergency [JURIST report] and invoke martial law after 5,000 protesters marched to demand an end to the monarchy. Bahrain officially declared martial law [JURIST report] on Tuesday. Yemeni authorities have previously been criticized for their counter-terror methods. In August, Amnesty International [advocacy website] criticized methods used by the government [JURIST report] as violations of human rights. These methods included arbitrary arrests, torture, extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances, among other actions taken by security forces.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.