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Yemen’s Interior Minister: Our country is occupied by UAE 

Yemenis attend a support rally for the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council [CGTNOfficial/Twitter]

Yemen’s Interior Minister, Ahmed Al-Misri, said that members of the government cannot enter or leave Aden without permission from the United Arab Emirates.

“Emiratis have helped us, but now you cannot go to the port without the UAE permission. You cannot go to the airport without the UAE permission. You cannot even enter or leave Aden without the UAE permission.”

Al-Misri said in an interview with the American PBS network, “As an interior minister, I do not have authority over prisons. What is my assessment as an interior minister? The alliance originally came to help us fight the Houthis, so the Saudis and the Emiratis should be where the Houthis are, which means that once a region is liberated, the legitimate government should be allowed to rule it.”

Al-Misri responded to claims by US journalist, Marsaia Biggs, who suggests that Yemen is under occupation. He said, “It seems so but it is not announced, we have a lot of indicators which support what has been just said, but we are still thinking about the ways to deal with the UAE, and the answer to this question will appear over the next few months.”

Read: We are ready for Yemeni and Saudi prisoner swap, says Houthi official

“Either the coalition countries prove that they came to support the legitimate government and enable us to do our work, or they will prove what has been just said [that we are under occupation]. In that case, I will go to a press conference and pronounce that, but not now,” he said.

Biggs had met with families of detainees, and one of the detainee’s sister said, “We are not even allowed to go to coalition offices to ask about our family members. Did they come to help us get rid of the Houthis or to destroy us? This is a crime. We are human beings, not animals.”

Biggs asked Radfan Al-Futaihi about the newly opened Human Rights Ministry in Aden. “The courts have been closed for 2.5 years because of the war and reopened six months ago. Now that it’s open, things will get better,” he replied.The United Arab Emirates officially denies the use of secret prisons, but the Interior Minister told the US television otherwise.

Al-Misri said he was conducting negotiations with the UAE on behalf of these families, but the attack on his government in January stopped contacts.The correspondent pointed out that the UAE forces detained Hanan’s husband, Rami, for more than a year and a half.

Hanan Mohamed Ali Hassan said that “the Yemeni government does not have control over Yemen. This is our country, but the coalition treats us like slaves in our own country. They are occupying us. They have helped us once, and we thank them for that, but they have to leave now.”

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