Dozens of detainees moved from secret UAE-run Yemeni prison
Dozens of detainees being held in secret UAE-prisons in Yemen have been moved to a government-run facility in the southern city of Mukalla, a senior Yemeni official and relatives said on Monday.
The official said 133 prisoners were transferred from the Riyan airport, one of 18 secret prisons an Associated Press investigation revealed to be run by the UAE or its allies.
The official says there are no more prisoners in Riyan and that the airport will reopen soon. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorised to speak to reporters.
Families of two detainees say their sons were moved to a new prison.
In June, the AP exposed at least 18 clandestine lock-ups across southern Yemen run by the UAE and local forces allied to the Abu Dhabi.
All of the alleged "torture sites" are either hidden from Yemen's exiled government, or are off limits.
Family members of those detained said that some prisoners were transferred from UAE or Yemeni custody to UAE-run military bases in Eritrea.
According to Human Rights Watch researcher Kristine Beckerle, the UAE and its Yemeni associates use the prisons for "high-value terrorism suspects [who] are accused of a variety of things related to the UAE efforts against al-Qaeda in Yemen".
The rights watchdog recorded the cases of 49 people, including four children, who were detained or forcibly disappeared. HRW says 38 of the 49 were arrested by UAE-backed forces.
Senior US military personnel confirmed their involvement, but denied any knowledge of human rights abuses.
Interrogating the victims of torture is illegal under international humanitarian law, as it is seen as complicity.