Jan. 20 - Yemenis furious over a draft bill which could grant outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh immunity take to the streets. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Thousands gather in the Yemen capital of Sanaa Friday to protest a draft law that would protect outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his aides from quote "politically motivated" crimes. The draft law has been condemned by Human Rights Watch as a "license to kill" and criticized by protesters and the United Nations. It is due to be discussed in parliament Saturday. Many protesters are also still calling for Saleh to be put on trial. "Without the determination of the youth and revolutionaries, we will not achieve anything. God willing the rest of the revolution's aims will be achieved. They have to have patience, the victory is coming soon. The first aim of the revolution will be achieved in the coming days," Saleh's supporters were also out on the streets Friday. The United States has defended the draft law as the only way to coax Saleh from power. But, questions remain over his intentions after he reversed a pledge to leave Yemen before presidential elections in February. Washington and neighboring oil giant Saudi Arabia are keen for the plan to work, fearing protracted political upheaval will let al Qaeda's regional Yemen-based wing to establish a foothold along oil shipping routes through the Red Sea. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.