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Bolivian authorities revoke law granting immunity to military who used force in protests

The presidential order issued in mid-November said that military officers "will be immune from legal prosecution if they act for defense and out of necessity"

BUENOS AIRES, November 29. /TASS/. Bolivia's interim president Jeanine Anez has revoked a law that envisaged immunity from legal prosecution for military officers who used force during protests.

"I have just cancelled Presidential Order No 4078. Thanks to the fact that all sides recognized the importance of this, we were able to calm the situation in the country," Anez wrote on her official Twitter account.

"We are happy that Bolivians decided to continue working on building a Bolivia that will live in democracy and peace," she added.

The presidential order issued in mid-November said that "military officers participating in the operation on restoring stability and order will be immune from legal prosecution if they act for defense and out of necessity in the process of carrying out their constitutional obligations." Human rights organizations criticized the document saying that it runs contrary to international standards in human rights protection and condones the use of force in quelling protests. Since the start of the political crisis in Bolivia, over 20 people have been killed in clashes.

The presidential election in Bolivia was held on October 20. According to the Supreme Electoral Court, incumbent President Evo Morales won in the first round. His main competitor, Carlos Mesa, said that he does not recognize Morales' victory in the first round. After the results of the election were announced, large-scale protests and strikes started across the country.

On November 10, Morales announced his resignation and characterized the situation in the country as a coup. He was earlier asked to leave his post by the country's armed forces, opposition and labor unions. Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera and several ministers and parliament members resigned as well.

The Mexican authorities granted political asylum to Morales. Morales arrived in Mexico on November 12. Later on that day, Bolivian Senator Jeanine Anez declared herself as interim president.