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7 Yemeni MPs Resign over Rising Cruelty

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TEHRAN, Feb 24 (ICANA) – Pro-democracy protesters in Yemen have often been met by riot police firing teargas and rubber bullets or supporters of President Saleh armed with knives and batons.
Thursday, February 24, 2011 11:59:48 AM
7 Yemeni MPs Resign over Rising Cruelty

Seven Yemeni lawmakers have resigned to protest the government's use of excessive violence against pro-democracy protesters. The lawmakers, all from Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh's ruling GPS party, criticized the Yemeni president on Wednesday for his harsh crack down on demonstrators that demand his ouster. The resignation, a political blow to the president, came after two university students were killed and many others wounded late on Tuesday in the capital after security forces attacked a pro-democracy protest near Sana'a University. "The people must have the right to demonstrate peacefully," said Abdulaziz Jubari, a leading parliamentarian who has resigned, as quoted by Reuters. Among those resigned are some major allies of Saleh and tribal leader Abdo Bisher, from the Sana'a region, as well as two other figures from southern Yemen. Jubari also said the parliamentarians have sent a 10-point letter to the Yemeni president, demanding immediate reforms, including restructuring the army to make it more representative of Yemen's complex society and to aid a transition to democracy. The Yemeni President has described the pro-democracy protesters as "elements of a coup." Inspired by the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, massive groups of Yemeni protesters have recently taken to the streets in Sana'a and other major cities, demanding the ouster of Saleh. Saleh, who has been in power for 33 years, has said that he would leave power after his term expires in 2013. He has also promised not to hand power to his son. He has also pledged to raise wages of government employees and to provide 60,000 job opportunities for university graduates. But the measures seem not to be enough for the protesters as thousands of pro-democracy activists are still out in major cities, including the capital Sana'a, calling for an end to corruption and unemployment and demanding Saleh's ouster. The Yemeni government crackdown on demonstrations has killed at least 24 people so far.

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