The Yemeni anti-regime protests started in February
Anti-regime protesters, inspired by the suspension of Syria from the Arab League, staged a massive rally in Sanaa on Wednesday to urge the regional grouping to do the same with Yemen. © Mohammed Huwais - AFP
The Yemeni anti-regime protests started in February
AFP
Last updated: November 16, 2011

Yemenis urge Arab League to suspend their country

Anti-regime protesters, inspired by the suspension of Syria from the Arab League, staged a massive rally in Sanaa on Wednesday to urge the regional grouping to do the same with Yemen.

"Arab League, we demand the freezing of (Yemeni) membership," chanted the protesters who marched from Change Square, the epicentre of anti-government demonstrations, towards Al-Hasaba -- both in the north of the capital.

"No immunity for the killer, resist, people, resist," they chanted, in allusion to a Gulf plan to end 10 months of unrest under which veteran President Ali Abdullah Saleh would step down in return for immunity from prosecution for himself and his family.

"Silence after today is shameful, after the bombs and the destruction," they shouted.

Security forces fired warning shots in the air when protesters passed by a house owned by Saleh. No casualties were reported.

Saleh, who has been in power in Sanaa since 1978, has come under mounting domestic and international pressure to step down in line with the Gulf-brokered peace blueprint.

Saleh has welcomed but has yet to sign off on the plan.

The Arab League voted on Saturday to suspend Syria from the pan-Arab bloc and impose sanctions after more than 3,500 people were killed since protests erupted in March against President Bashar al-Assad's regime, according to UN figures.

Eighteen of the bloc's 22 members voted to suspend Syria, while Lebanon, Syria and Yemen voted against the move, and Iraq abstained.

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