‘It’s for the service of the homeland’: The Houthis’ sexual violence and prostitution rings in Yemen

Houthis are mutilating sex organs of female detainees to deter opposition, claims Noura Al Jerwi, a rights activist working with the survivors

Charlene Rodrigues
Monday 12 July 2021 12:18
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<p>Women survivors of sexual violence</p>

Women survivors of sexual violence

On a balmy Saturday afternoon in February, the car in which Yemeni model Entesar al-Hammadi, was travelling to do a photo-shoot was detained at a checkpoint on Shamlan street, northwest of Yemen’s capital Sanaa.

The exact reason for her detention is unknown, but Khaled al-Kamal, her lawyer, alleges it’s because she was riding in a car with a man accused of drug dealing, and she works as “a model and actress”. The lawyer took up Al-Hammadi’s case ten days after she was imprisoned. Last week, he confirmed that al-Hammadi attempted suicide.

When a delegation of journalists, lawyers, and judiciary members visited Sanaa’s Central Prison last month, al-Hammadi told them she was accused of drug trafficking and prostitution without any evidence. Weeks later, she was threatened with a virginity test, which the authorities later withdrew.

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