Middle EastSaudi ArabiaYemen

Yemeni Leader Reveals Cooperation between UAE, Blackwater in Secret Jails

A senior Yemeni leader disclosed that the UAE has signed a contract with the infamous US Blackwater company to run the country’s prisons in Yemen.

“Mercenaries from the infamous American Blcakwater company are running one of the UAE’s jails in Yemen,” Adel al-Hassani, a leader and member of the military council of resistance in Southern Yemen, said in an interview with the Arabic-language service of al-Jazeera on Saturday.

He added that the interrogators and torturers in the hidden prisons in Aden are from the UAE and Colombia, noting some of the inmates are soaking in blood when they return from interrogation and some inmates have been threatened with rape by the interrogators.

Al-Hassani, who was once imprisoned in the UAE’s secret jails in Yemen, said that he, himself, has seen the Blackwater’s mottoes on the clothes of a number of inmates inside a prison in Aden.

Earlier this month, al-Hassani had told a British news outlet how he was kidnapped, taken to a secret facility, tortured, and cruelly treated by the UAE forces.

He told Britain’s Channel 4 News how he was tortured in secret prisons held by the UAE military forces in Yemen.

“Abu Dhabi is committing brutal crimes in its prisons,” said the ex-inmate, subjected to torture.

“As soon as the night came, you could hear the screams in the prisons of the UAE: they were either suspended, undressed, tortured by electric shock, or beaten,” the Yemeni victim of tortures, who is now in Malaysia, told Channel 4 correspondent Jonathan Rugman.

He added that Emirati commanders used to take him to a hole called the monster’s pit, where he was left blindfold with tied hands and legs for 48 hours without water, food or bath.

He asserted that he was almost dead after each of these 48-hour stays in the hole.

Al-Hassani then showed the British Channel correspondent the areas of his body with torture marks, adding that he was tortured with electric shockers by three UAE soldiers. He explained how he was subjected to foul language and beatings.

He said that the UAE soldiers linked electricity to the “genitals and under the armpits”, and hit him with iron bars and copper cable wires.

Al-Hassani said that he was arrested and taken to the secret prison because he wrote in the social networks against the UAE’s moves in Southern Yemen, describing Emirates as conquers and occupiers. He was kidnapped and labeled as linked to al-Qaeda.

He stressed that interrogators, who tortured and supervised the prison, were all Emiratis and not from Yemen.

He drew the British channel’s attention to the findings of the Group of Independent Eminent International and Regional Experts where it has been asserted that detainees have been subjected to torture and other cruel treatment in facilities controlled by the UAE.

A Human Rights Watch official said in a comment on al-Hassani’s case that it was very similar to what the organization had repeatedly said, confirming that it was a true testimony.

The official added that the UAE does not respond to queries and questions about this file.

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