The AP found Emirati officers "sodomized, raped, probed and stripped down in at least five prisons" across Yemen, where Saudi-coalition forces have been waging a war against suspected Iran-backed Houthi rebels since 2015.
The report, citing accounts from several witnesses, includes one particularly disturbing incident that occurred at Beir Ahmed prison in the Aden in March. Officials at the facility sexually abused hundreds of inmates by searching for cellphones in their anal cavities.
"They strip you naked, then tie your hands to a steel pole from the right and the left so you are spread open in front of them. Then the sodomizing starts," a prisoner told the AP.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported a hunger strike by dozens of detainees in Beir Ahmed in October 2017.
The family members of the prisoners accused the authorities of providing no access to lawyers nor information on charges, if any, against them.
At the time, HRW mentioned torture against detainees in its findings.
However, the extent of sexual abuse against the inmates at UAE-controlled facilities was just revealed in the AP investigation.
The news agency also managed to obtain some drawings smuggled from inside the prisons.
"The drawings show a man hanging naked from chains while he is being electrocuted, another inmate on the floor surrounded by snarling dogs as several people kick him and graphic depictions of anal rape," the AP stated.
As unsettling as the report was, it managed to prompt Emirati authorities to release at least four prisoners. Their release, it appears, was as sudden as their disappearance.
A brother of one of such released prisoners told the AP "he was freed all of a sudden without notifying the family in advance."
Since March 2015, over 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen since a Saudi-led coalition intervened in the country to push back the Houthi rebels, who, Riyadh claims, are backed by Iran. Of those killed, over 5,000 were children while another 400,000 have been left severely malnourished and fighting for their lives, according to a January 2018 report by UNICEF. It has also given birth to the largest famine the world has witnessed in decades.
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