A report revealed by Associated Press has spotlighted on Tuesday allegations of rape, sexual assault and gender-based violence committed mostly by Iran-aligned Houthi rebels and UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC).
According to experts backed by the U.N.’s top human rights body, the offenses also include those by militias backed by the United Arab Emirates. The militiamen have expanded their footprint in the south, seizing territory from forces loyal to the internationally recognized government, including the southern city of Aden.
The experts commissioned by the Human Rights Council also denounced allegations of hostage-taking of women and girls, and said the Shiite Houthi rebels, who hold northern Yemen, have kidnapped and detained women over the last two years to blackmail their relatives.
In recent weeks, the militias trained and armed by the UAE in southern Yemen, took Aden and several other cities and towns in the south, clashing with forces loyal to Hadi.
While the U.N. expert’s report reiterated findings about torture and arbitrary killings, the allegations of sexual violence were among the newer revelations by the three-person panel.
The report said the experts had verified 12 cases of sexual violence on five women, six men and a 17-year-old boy.
The report cited accounts of “punching, kicking, beating with metal bars, sticks and guns, whipping with electric cables and electric shock, hanging from the ceiling for hours, and nail removal” in detention facilities.