Amnesty International said Thursday that Human rights violations in a string of Yemeni prisons run by the United Arab Emirates could amount to war crimes.
It called for investigations by the UAE and allies including the United States into a network of unofficial prisons across southern Yemen where it said “egregious violations” have been committed, including enforced disappearances and torture.
“Ultimately these violations, which are taking place in the context of Yemen’s armed conflict, should be investigated as war crimes,” said Tirana Hassan, Amnesty’s crisis response director.
“The UAE’s counter-terrorism partners, including the USA, must also take a stand against allegations of torture, including by investigating the role of US personnel in detention-related abuses in Yemen, and by refusing to use information that was likely obtained through torture or other ill-treatment.”
The UAE has played a key role in a Saudi-led military aggression against the impoverished country since 2015 in a bid to restore power to fugitive president Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.
Amnesty International said it had investigated 51 cases of enforced disappearance at the hands of UAE-backed forces between March 2016 and May 2018.
Nineteen of the men remain missing, it said.
Amnesty said it had collected testimonies from released detainees and relatives of the missing across Yemen. Testimonies showed atrocities committed by Emirati forces against Yemeni detainees.