Yemen: Free actress and model Intisar Al-Hammadi

01.08.22

Reliable local reports received by the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) confirmed that the actress and model, Intisar Abdulrahman Al-Hammadi, is facing ill-treatment and has been severely beaten several times in the central prison in the capital, Sana'a, where she is imprisoned.

On 21 July 2022, Al-Hammadi was severely beaten by the jailers and head of the ward in which she is imprisoned, before being placed in solitary confinement. The reason behind this attack is reportedly Al-Hammadi’s use of Qat, a common Yemeni tradition that by no means justifies targeting her in such a violent manner.

Informed sources stated that on 30 July 2022, she was taken out of solitary confinement and returned to the general ward, where her mother was able to visit her.

Her defence team confirmed that, in the next few days, they will file an appeal against the arbitrary initial ruling issued against her.

On 08 November 2021, the West Capital Municipality Court of First Instance in Sana’a, sentenced Al-Hammadi to five years in prison for alleged prostitution and drug use. 

She was among four women who were sentenced to prison in violation of their rights, of which all have been released except for Al-Hammadi. This indicates the authorities' intention to discriminate against her by keeping her in prison on false charges, despite her case becoming an issue of public importance, with citizens demanding her immediate release.

GCHR condemns in the strongest terms the direct targeting and severe beating of actress and model Intisar Al-Hammadi and calls for all officials involved to face justice.

Recommendations

GCHR calls on the de facto government in Sana'a, the Houthi group, to:

  1. Immediately and unconditionally release the actress and model, Intisar Al Hammadi, who has been sentenced on trumped-up charges, and award her with compensation commensurate with the damages inflicted on her during her unfair arrest and imprisonment;
  2. Implement the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules) and in particular Rule V(1) which states, “The prison system should endeavor to minimize the differences between prison and free life.”