Yemeni Nobel Laureate Demands UN Action

Posted October 18th, 2011 at 7:20 pm (UTC-5)
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A Yemeni Nobel laureate is demanding that the United Nations act to stop the bloodshed in her home country.

Tawakkul Karman, who was one of the winners of this year's Nobel Peace Prize, led a demonstration Tuesday across from U.N. headquarters in New York City.

Karman said she will not return home until the U.N. Security Council imposes sanctions on President Ali Abdullah Saleh and works to hold him accountable in the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

She also said she rejects any immunity for Mr. Saleh and his inner circle. The Gulf Cooperation Council has drawn up a peace plan that offered Mr. Saleh immunity from prosecution if he steps down.

Karman's call came as Yemeni medics and witnesses said security forces on Tuesday opened fire on an anti-government protest in the capital, Sana'a, killing at least seven demonstrators. At least 50 demonstrators were wounded.

More than 30 people have been killed in Yemen since Saturday in government crackdowns on the protest movement and battles between pro-Saleh and anti-Saleh forces.

The opposition activists have been demanding an immediate end to Mr. Saleh's 33-year autocratic rule for the past 10 months. He has repeatedly rejected the Gulf Cooperation Council plan.

Mr. Saleh says he will not hand power to long-time opposition rivals whom he accuses of seeking to destroy the country.