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Saudi whistle-blower exposes secret prison in Yemen

June 15, 2020 at 3:27 pm

A Yemeni flag waves in the city of Taez [AHMAD AL-BASHA/AFP/Getty Images]

A well-known Saudi activist and whistle-blower has exposed the existence of a secret prison run by Riyadh in Yemen’s largest province, Hadhramout.

Known online as “Mujtahidd”, the activist made his claim on Twitter yesterday, where he said that the Saudi military has committed serious violations against Yemeni detainees, including torturing many of them to death.

“I received a report from former detainees in a prison run by Saudi forces in Yemen where it is kept secret and what is going on in it,” he said.

He went on to describe that the prison conditions were not even fit for an animal and noted that the Saudi prison is subject neither to Saudi or Yemeni law nor international supervision.

According to the leaked report, hundreds if not thousands of Yemenis have been incarcerated in the prison and tortured. Most are relatives or acquaintances of the main suspects.

READ: HRW urges Saudi to release Yemen blogger

Mujtahidd called on human rights organisations and the international community to urge the Saudi government to accept international monitoring of the prison.

Saudi Arabia’s coalition partner in the war in Yemen, the UAE, has also previously been accused of running secret prisons in the country with reports of sexual abuse occurring. This was later confirmed by a panel of UN experts on the situation in Yemen.

Yesterday, it was also reported by the Yemen Press Agency that a young man had died under torture while in a detention centre in the southern port city of Aden, operated by the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC).

The detainee, Hussein Marwan Aidroo, was said to be the son of the head of public relations for the Yemeni Petroleum Company. He was reportedly kidnapped 12 days before his death after allegedly taking part in protests demanding water and electricity services.

READ: Yemen: UAE-backed forces steal 64 billion riyals in epic bank heist