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UAE must cooperate on secret prisons investigation, says HRW

Image of a prison cells [Melissa Robison/Flickr]
Prison cells [Melissa Robison/Flickr]

A Human Rights Watch (HRW) researcher has called on the UAE to cooperate with the commission to investigate its secret prisons in Aden and Al-Mukalla in Yemen, Al Jazeera reported yesterday.

Kristine Beckerle, Yemen and UAE researcher in the Middle East and North Africa Division of HRW, was concerned that the Yemen government only gave a 15-day deadline for the official investigation committee, which is to probe several forced disappearance and torture cases.

She also questioned whether this committee would have access to the official and non-official detention centres, as well as if this commission is qualified to take recommendations and prosecute officials responsible for violations.

Read: The UN is playing down Saudi-UAE human rights abuses in Yemen

On Twitter she revealed that American officials had questioned prisoners in the notorious UAE's secret prisons in Yemen.

The Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid bin Dagher ordered the formation of a joint commission to look into information reported by international rights groups that the UAE had secret prisons in Yemen.

Yemeni Justice Minister Jamal Mohamed Omar will head the commission, which has five other members. It will raise its recommendations to the prime minister in 15 days.

Read: UAE attempted to influence Obama policy in Yemen

Last week HRW revealed that Yemeni forces – supported by the UAE – detain, torture and forcibly disappear Yemenis. The rights group has documented 49 cases, including four children, who were forcibly disappeared and 38 others who were detained.

Meanwhile, AP (Associated Press) published an investigation report into the secret prisons in Yemen run by the UAE, revealing that inmates inside these prisons were subjected to torture every day.


Describing the forms of torture, AP said that the prisoners were burnt with fire. The investigation mentioned that American investigators were involved in the violations.

In addition, US senators sent a letter to US Defence Secretary James Mattis, calling for him to immediately investigate claims that Americans are involved in torturing prisoners inside UAE-run prisons in Yemen.

The UAE denied all claims that it is involved in violations against Yemenis in Yemen and said that its forces are present in Yemen as part of the Arab coalition and it does not supervise any prison in the country.

HRWInternational OrganisationsMiddle EastNewsUAEYemen
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