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Yemeni detainees in UAE-run jail launch hunger strike

Instances of torture at UAE-run prisons in Yemen have been documented [file photo-Getty]

Date of publication: 10 September, 2018

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The strike comes weeks after three inmates tried to commit suicide, two by swallowing pills.
Dozens of inmates at a UAE-run jail in Yemen have launched a hunger strike to protest their continued detention despite a prosecutor's decision to release them. 

The Yemeni detainees are also protesting their mistreatment, which includes the use of torture by Emirati forces. 

In a statement smuggled from the notorious prison of Beir Ahmed in the southern city of Aden on Monday, the prisoners said the strike comes after three inmates tried to commit suicide in the past weeks, including two by swallowing pills. 

The statement also said that while prosecutors had ordered the release of some prisoners, others weren't referred to any judicial authorities at all after they were transferred from one prison to the other.

In June, reports emerged that Yemeni prisoners swept up in anti-terror raids by Emirati-backed forces have been subjected to torture and sexual abuse while in detention at Beir Ahmed.

Drawings smuggled out the prison at the time showed a man hanging naked from chains while being subjected to electric shocks, with another inmate on the floor surrounded by snarling dogs as several people kick him and graphic depictions of anal rape.

The UAE, a key US ally, has denied that it controls any prisons in Yemen and has said that Yemen's government is in full control.

Yemeni Interior Minister Ahmed al-Maysari has said on previous occasions that he has no control over the prisons and he can't enter Aden without the Emiratis' permission. 

More than 10,000 people have died since a Saudi-led coalition, including the UAE, intervened in Yemen's conflict in March 2015, sending the Arab world's poorest country to the brink of famine.

The AP has identified at least five prisons where Emirati security forces use sexual torture to brutalise and break inmates in Yemen.

Agencies contributed to this report. 

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