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Yemen lawyer honoured for exposing secret UAE prisons

'Being a human rights defender in Yemen is extremely challenging'

A Yemeni lawyer has won the prestigious Martin Ennals Award for 2020 in recognition of her efforts to uncover a network of secret prisons run by the UAE in southern Yemen where prisoners are held and tortured without legal grounds.

Huda Al-Sarari, 42, received her award in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday.

“Being a human rights defender in Yemen is extremely challenging, and being a woman makes this even more difficult. In a male-dominated society, I have to prove myself maybe ten times more than a man,” Huda said.

“Receiving the 2020 Martin Ennals Award for human rights defenders means the world to me. It gives me great strength and emboldens me to continue this fight for justice,” she continued.

In 2019, gunmen shot and killed Al-Sarari’s son during a human rights protest in Yemen’s de facto capital Aden.

Founded in 1993, the award is given by ten of the most prominent human rights bodies, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the World Organisation Against Torture and the International Commission of Jurists.

READ: Ivanka Trump lauds Saudi and UAE over women’s rights but is silent on torture 

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