WORLD

Yemen gov’t to investigate reports about secret prisons

YEMEN GOV’T TO INVESTIGATE REPORTS ABOUT SECRET PRISONS

The Yemeni government on Saturday formed a panel to investigate reports about secret prisons in Yemen where inmates have been tortured.

The panel will produce a report in two weeks to Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr about the alleged secret prisons in areas captured from Houthi rebels, according to the official Saba news agency.

The move comes after Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused the United Arab Emirates (UAE) of operating two informal detention facilities in Yemen.

The New York-based rights watchdog said the UAE has been supporting Yemeni forces that "arbitrarily detained, forcibly disappeared, tortured, and abused dozens of people during security operations".

The group documented the cases of 49 people, including four children, who have been arbitrarily detained or forcibly disappeared in the Aden and Hadhramaut provinces over the last year.

"You don't effectively fight extremist groups like Al-Qaeda or ISIS by disappearing dozens of young men and constantly adding to the number of families with 'missing' loved ones in Yemen," Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at HRW, said, using another name of Daesh terrorist group.

"The UAE and its partners should place protecting detainee rights at the center of their security campaigns if they care about Yemen's long-term stability."

Yemen fell into civil war in 2014 after Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

The conflict escalated when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive air campaign in 2015 to reverse Houthi military gains and shore up the Saudi-backed Yemeni government.

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