“The US, for all their posturing as the world's moral authority, are the world's expert in some of the most heinous torture practices therefore it should be no great surprise that the UAE, a close ally of the US, is practicing similar techniques to those used in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and other CIA-run black sites globally,” the journalist told RT on Thursday.
Beeley, whose investigative work covers the hotspots in the Middle East, was reacting to a recent report by the AP detailing the torture and sexual abuse in five Emirati-run prisons in Yemen. Numerous witnesses within the Yemeni army and security forces, as well as letters and drawing from the inmates, revealed how the detainees were held without charges and violated in gruesome ways.
The Emirati officials have denied all allegations of running prisons in Yemen. “Yemeni authorities are in complete control of local and federal governance, judicial and prison systems. The UAE has never managed or run prisons or secret detention centers in Yemen,” the Emirati permanent mission at the United Nations Office in Geneva said in a statement on Wednesday. The mission added that the UAE had helped the Yemeni government to “facilitate visits by the International Committee of the Red Cross to uphold and protect international humanitarian law.”
The horrific stories unveiled by the AP just add more to the reports from local NGOs about human rights abuses in Yemen, which have been coming in for some time now, with an uptick in June 2016, said Beeley. She pointed out that last year the Sana’a-based Legal Center for Rights and Development, which documents the daily violations by the Saudi-led coalition, and the global rights watchdog Amnesty International called for an urgent UN-led investigation of the alleged torture of the detainees carried out by UAE and its allied security forces.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) also drew attention to the reports of torture and arbitrary detention in Yemen. “Multiple sources, including Yemeni government officials, have reported the existence of numerous informal detention facilities and secret prisons in Aden and Hadramawt, including at least two run by the UAE and others run by UAE-backed Yemeni security forces,” the US-based international NGO said in 2017.
Overall, the HRW documented people held in 11 “informal” detention facilities controlled by the UAE-backed Yemeni security forces. “You don’t effectively fight extremist groups like Al-Qaeda or ISIS by disappearing dozens of young men and constantly adding to the number of families with ‘missing’ loved ones in Yemen,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, the NGO’s Middle East director.
Beeley agrees that people held in “informal” prisons are not only those belonging to terrorist groups. “I would stress that those being detained are not all Al-Qaeda as is inferred by the corporate media accounts,” Beeley said in an emailed comment to RT, adding that the allegations of massive abuse obtained from the victims and their families appear more and more often. “This is standard practice for hostile occupying forces and the UAE and its allies are no exception. The detentions and torture are a collective punishment for all who rebel against the authority of the Saudi Coalition and any local forces loyal to the Coalition.”
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