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Human rights violation in UAE-run Yemen prisons may lead to war crimes, says Amnesty International

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Human rights violation in UAE-run Yemen prisons may lead to war crimes, says Amnesty International

Human rights violations in a string of Yemeni prisons run by the United Arab Emirates could amount to war crimes, Amnesty International said today.

It called for investigations by the UAE and allies including the United States into a network of unofficial prisons across southern Yemen where it said “egregious violations” have been committed, including enforced disappearances and torture.

“Ultimately these violations, which are taking place in the context of Yemen’s armed conflict, should be investigated as war crimes,” said Tirana Hassan, Amnesty’s crisis response director. “The UAE’s counter-terrorism partners, including the USA, must also take a stand against allegations of torture, including by investigating the role of US personnel in detention-related abuses in Yemen, and by refusing to use information that was likely obtained through torture or other ill-treatment.”

The UAE has earlier denied involvement in prisons across southern Yemen.

However, Amnesty said it had collected testimonies from released detainees and relatives of the missing across Yemen. One former detainee told Amnesty that “UAE soldiers at a coalition base in Aden repeatedly inserted an object into his anus until he bled” and that he was “kept in a hole in the ground with only his head above the surface and left to defecate and urinate on himself in that position”.

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