Following an Associated Press investigation alleging that United Arab Emirates (UAE) and its allied Yemeni security forces are arbitrarily detaining and torturing detainees, who are also being interrogated by US forces in a network of secret prisons across Southern Yemen, Lynn Maalouf, Director of Research at Amnesty International in the Middle East said that “a UN-led investigation must immediately be launched into the UAE’s and other parties’ role in setting up this horrific network of torture.”
In a statement released on Thursday, June 29, 2017, Maalouf stressed that thousands of Yemeni men have disappeared in those networks. “Enforced disappearance and torture are crimes under international law,” she highlighted. “They must be investigated and those responsible must be held accountable.”
“Allegations about US forces taking part in interrogations of detainees or receiving information that may have been obtained through torture must also be immediately investigated, as the US may be complicit in crimes under international law. Also, given the UAE’s practice of torture domestically, which Amnesty International has consistently documented in the past, it would be a stretch to believe the US did not know or could not have known that there was a real risk of torture,” Maalouf pointed out.
“The UAE is obliged to uphold the UN convention against torture which it became a state party to in 2012. As a signatory to the global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), the UAE must also refrain from acts that defeat the Treaty’s purpose, which includes reducing human suffering.”
“Furthermore, the USA as well as European countries must immediately halt arms transfers to the UAE given the high likelihood those arms could be used to facilitate enforced disappearances, torture or serious violations of international humanitarian law. Otherwise, arms suppliers could be complicit in war crimes.”