US urged to investigate UAE ‘war crimes’
Amnesty International called on the United States to investigate the United Arab Emirates’ use of detention and torture, following its support to the UAE’s military campaign in Yemen.
"We wanted to see what has happened one year after a network of secret prisons had been revealed in southern Yemen," says Rawya Rageh of Amnesty International.
"One year later dozens of families are still desperately looking for their loved ones."
The appeal came after the human rights group issued a four month investigation examining alleged abuses in the prisons, which have been operated by UAE forces and the local Yemeni forces they support.
Amnesty says it investigated 51 cases of men held by Yemeni security forces, backed by the UAE, between March 2016 and May 2018, in the provinces of Aden, Lahij, Abyan, Hadhramaut and Shabwah. 19 are still missing. It also claimed to have documented “the widespread use of torture and other ill-treatment measures in Yemeni and Emirati detention centres.”
The report showed that a number of the facilities continue to operate outside of official Yemeni government oversight.
“We documented torture and ill treatment at the hands of both the UAE troops, as well as the local Yemeni forces they back,” says Rageh. “The forms of torture that we documented included electric shocks, waterboarding, denial of timely medical treatment, sexual violence.”