The Associated Press reported [AP report] on Wednesday that the news service had uncovered regular instances of rape and other forms of sexual violence against Yemeni detainees by prison officials in secret prisons controlled by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The abuse has been reported in at least five prisons.
The UAE has arrested “hundreds” of Yemeni men whom officials suspect are involved with terrorist organizations. However, the prisoners have not been charged with any crimes or given a trial.
“Sexual violence is a primary tool aimed at brutalizing the detainees and extracting ‘confessions,'” the report reads, based on interviews with the prisoners. Sometimes, prison officials will film the assaults to blackmail detainees into working for the UAE.
The UAE is a United States ally, and the US has interrogated prisoners at some UAE secret prisons.
The US government denies any knowledge regarding the sexual abuse of Yemeni detainees. A Pentagon spokesperson told AP, “We have received no credible allegations that would substantiate the allegations put forth in your line of question/story.”
Last November activists urged [JURIST report] the International Criminal Court to investigate mercenaries in Yemen allegedly carrying out war crimes. In August NGOs called for [JURIST report] an independent inquiry into rights violations in Yemen. A year ago Human Rights Watch accused [JURIST report] the UAE of supporting human rights abuses in Yemen.