Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

She Helped Expose Secret UAE-Run Prisons in Yemen — and Paid a Steep Price

By Alice Speri, The Intercept

Huda Al-Sarari was forced into exile after her work documenting human rights abuses by U.S.-backed Emirati forces garnered global attention.

Yemeni attorney Huda Al-Sarari had been representing women in domestic abuse and gender-based violence cases for years, when around 2015 she began fielding a different cry for help.

As a civil conflict in Yemen turned to a proxy war between regional powers, women would call Al-Sarari in the middle of the night to tell her that their homes had just been raided and their husbands, brothers, and sons taken away by force. Others would reach out to her after having spent days searching for their loved ones at prisons and police stations, and pleading with officials who told them they had no involvement in the men’s detention or knowledge of their whereabouts.

“These families were saying, ‘Help us, our sons were kidnapped,’” Al-Sarari told The Intercept in an interview. “I couldn’t hear about these violations and crimes and do nothing.”

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