Dec. 16 - Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis demand that President Saleh face justice over killing demonstrators and reject the amnesty given to Saleh to avoid prosecution. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION). Yemenis took to the streets in Sanaa on Friday (December 16), demanding President Ali Abdullah Saleh face justice over the killing of demonstrators in the country's democratic uprising and rejecting the amnesty given to Saleh to avoid prosecution. Hundreds of thousands of people shouted slogans and prayed in the streets of the capital. The large presence of women in the protest was visible by the colourful umbrellas they carried. Demonstrators were angered by Yemen's transfer of power deal negotiated by neighbouring states and signed by Saleh last month, which promised Saleh immunity from prosecution if he fulfills his pledge to stand down. Uprisings in the Middle East so far have toppled the leaders of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya - who ruled for decades with little opposition, only to suddenly face mass pro-democracy movements which they tried with varying degrees of ferocity to suppress. Yemen's Saleh, in power for 33 years, would be the next to go if he fulfills his pledge to step down. His country, the Arab world's poorest, already faces sectarian violence, a separatist revolt in the south and a potent al Qaeda security threat. A crackdown on protests against his rule has grown more violent over nine months, with his security forces battling militia led by tribal chiefs.