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Amnesty: No Immunity For Yemeni Leader

Antigovernment protesters flee as gunmen loyal to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh open fire on them during a demonstration in Sanaa on 16 October.
Amnesty International has said that any power-transfer deal in Yemen must not grant immunity to President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his associates, who the rights group said were responsible for grave human rights violations.

The London-based group said on October 18 that it appeared as though an agreement being currently brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) would give "blanket immunity" to Saleh and his aides and could prevent criminal investigations and prosecutions of those responsible for hundreds of protester deaths in recent months.

Malcolm Smart, Amnesty's director for the Middle East and North Africa, said that Saleh "must not be rewarded with immunity for agreeing to leave power."

Meanwhile, at least seven protesters were killed and dozens injured on October 18 as gunmen loyal to Saleh opened fire on demonstrators in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa.

More than 860 people have been reportedly killed since protests first erupted in January against Saleh's 33-year rule.

compiled from agency reports