The UAE operates a network of ‘black sites’ in war-torn Yemen, where terrorist suspects are abused and tortured, an AP investigation has found. US personnel have been involved in at least some interrogations, agency sources said.
There are at least 18 clandestine prisons across southern Yemen operated by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or by Yemeni forces created and trained by the Arab nations, AP reported on Thursday. A number of the estimated 2,000 detainees there are subjected to abuse and torture and have no legal protection, sources from the agency said.
The US military provides lists of questions for the detainees and receives transcripts of the interrogations done at the black sites, potentially making America complicit in torture. American citizens have been directly involved in some of the interrogations, although none of the sources confirmed participation in the alleged abuses, the report said, citing several unnamed US defense officials.
AP interviewed dozens of people for the report, including former inmates, family members of people held in detention, lawyers, Yemeni and US officials. Most of the sources spoke to the agency on condition of anonymity, either fearing reprisals or because they were not authorized to discuss the issue.
The UAE is part of a Saudi Arabia-led coalition of nations which, in March 2015, started an air campaign against Houthi rebels who earlier ousted Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. The US is providing assistance to the coalition by refueling its warplanes and giving intelligence information.