“I utterly condemn the violence we have seen today in Yemen, and call on those responsible immediately to cease this brutal reaction to protests. The Government of Yemen must uphold their responsibility to protect protesters, as President Saleh has committed, and to bring to justice those behind today’s terrible events. It would be completely unacceptable if it emerges that this violence or those responsible are sponsored or supported in any way by the Yemeni authorities.
Violence only undermines the opportunities for dialogue between the parties in Yemen. The Government of Yemen, the political opposition and the protesters must urgently embark on a process that builds trust and addresses the legitimate demands of the people. The declaration of a state of emergency does not absolve the Government of Yemen from its obligations to uphold the rule of law and their international human rights commitments.
All parties in Yemen must exercise the utmost restraint and take all steps necessary to defuse this situation. Those in authority have a responsibility to ensure that the casualties of today’s events have access to medical care and support.”