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UAE-backed militia accused of forced disappearance of Yemeni activist

January 16, 2023 at 9:28 am

UAE backed forces in Yemen. [Facebook]

Human rights groups have accused the militia of the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) of the forced disappearance of revolutionary movement leader Asaad Abdullah Jaafar Sakina in Aden. He has been held for three weeks amid fears for his deteriorating health condition.

Human rights sources quoted his family as saying that Sakina’s whereabouts and fate are still unknown. The head of the Defence Foundation for Rights and Freedom (DFRF), Huda Al-Sarari, said that Sakina’s family explained that he suffers from diabetes and takes medication on daily basis.

She indicated that his family had contacted every concerned institution, including the Public Prosecutor’s office, which in turn referred them to the Criminal Prosecution Office. However, they have not yet discovered Sakina’s whereabouts, who kidnapped him and why he was taken.

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“The continuation of such violations is a flagrant violation of Yemeni law,” tweeted Al-Sarari, “and the militia’s behaviour contradicts the work of state institutions, undermines law enforcement and destabilises community security.”

The human rights activist called on the Chairman of the Presidential Leadership Council, Rashad Al-Alimi, to utilise state institutions to stop these crimes and hold the perpetrators to account.

According to the Political Bureau of the Southern Revolutionary Movement Council on 27 December, Sakina was kidnapped near Al-Ful roundabout in Aden. The council condemned the kidnapping, calling for Sakina’s release and an end to violations against political opponents.

The STC militia kidnapped the head of the political bureau of the Revolutionary Movement Council, Mudarm Abu Siraj, in May 2021. He was eventually released after 14 months in captivity.

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