A Yemeni citizen died under “severe torture” inside a secret prison run by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the south of war-torn Yemen, activists on social media, who posted pictures of the victim, said on Friday.
Pictures of the corpse of Ahmed Dubba revealed disturbing signs of torture after it was released from Khanfar Prison.
Previously, Thenewkhalij news website reported that UAE forces in Yemen had carried out a detention campaign against religious scholars and preachers who opposed their presence in the country.
In addition, Thenewkhalij said that there had been campaigns of forced disappearance of Yemenis in the northern governorates of Aden.
Several weeks ago, a Yemeni rights group revealed that forces affiliated to the UAE, Houthis and followers of the ousted Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh locked up 208 prisoners inside secret prisons.
It said that these prisoners were subject to physical and psychological torture. The rights groups called for an end to these violations and immediate closure of these prisons.
According to a report by the Yemeni rights group Sam, which is based in Geneva, the “issue of secret prisons in Yemen had become a phenomenon.”
Recently, Human Rights Watch revealed that the UAE supported Yemeni forces have carried out arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance against Yemenis. They are often held in secret prisons run by the UAE, where detainees are subjected to various forms of torture.
The organisation said it documented last year the cases of 49 Yemenis who were exposed to arbitrary detention or enforced disappearances, including four children in two Yemeni governorates. It said that forces supported by the UAE did not release 38 of them.
Meanwhile, AP published an investigation it carried out, stating that hundreds of men rounded up in the hunt for al-Qaida militants have disappeared into a secret network of prisons in southern Yemen where abuse is routine and torture extreme.
It said that the torture methods including the “grill,” in which the victim is tied to a pit like a roast and spun in a circle of fire.
The AP investigation included remarks by several US defence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity. They recognized that American forces do participate in the interrogation of detainees at locations in Yemen, provide questions for other interrogators, and receive transcripts of interrogations from Emirati allies.
The officials told AP that senior military leaders were aware of the allegations of torture at prisons in Yemen, that they looked into them and were satisfied that there were no cases of abuse when US forces were present.