Call to freeze Yemeni assets

Six Swiss and Yemeni non-governmental organisations have called for the freezing of any assets held in Switzerland by Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

This content was published on June 11, 2011 - 11:24 and agencies

The demand was formulated in a letter sent by the Geneva-based Droit pour Tous (Right for All) association to the Swiss government and the Federal Prosecutor’s Office.

“The anti-democratic nature of the regime, its use of indiscriminate violence against the civilian population and peaceful demonstrators justify the immediate freezing of funds by the government,” says the letter, quoted by the Swiss News Agency.

It also calls on the Swiss government to make every effort to persuade the international legal authorities to investigate the issue, and wants the International Criminal Court to open an inquiry.

The letter names not only the president, but more than 20 others close to the regime.

Demonstrations against the Yemeni regime started at the end of January, but Saleh, who has been in power for 32 years, despite shows of apparent readiness to meet demonstrators’ demands, has refused to step down.

In the complex political situation of Yemen, different actors with different interests have been drawn in to the unrest.

On June 3 a rocket attack on the presidential palace injured Saleh badly enough for him to be flown to Saudi Arabia for treatment. Although his supporters say he will return, news of his departure sparked celebrations by his opponents. 

In the wake of the “Arab Spring” uprisings Switzerland has frozen assets belonging to the deposed leaders of Tunisia and Egypt, and those of Moammar Gaddafi, the embattled leader of Libya.

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