Yemen UN factfinding mission gaining full access to protesters opposition figures

1 July 2011The United Nations human rights mission to Yemen is gaining access to protesters and opposition leaders, has the cooperation of the Government and is generally “going well,” the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reported today. “The OHCHR mission to Yemen is going well so far with cooperation from the Government, which has allowed our team full access,” Rupert Colville, a spokesperson for the office, told a news briefing in Geneva. The team of three experts flew to Yemen on Monday and is expected to return on 6 July. “The team met the Vice-President in Sana’a [the capital] as well as opposition leaders, NGOs [non-governmental organizations] and protesters in Sana’a and Taiz. They have conducted interviews, collected documents and visited the two key protest locations in Sana’a where anti-Government and pro-Government protesters have been gathering,” Mr. Colville said. “The Government informed our team about the process they are undertaking to restart political dialogue,” he said. The group visited two hospitals that were looted amid violence in late May, and are due to visit prisons and speak to internally displaced persons (IDPs), he said. Yemen is one of many countries across North Africa and the Middle East where members of the public have held large-scale protests this year calling for greater democracy and freedoms.

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