10 August 2021
In June 2021, the authorities brought actress and model Entesar Al-Hammadi to the West Municipality Court of Sanaa twice for the hearings on the grounds of alleged “indecent act” and “drugs possession”, reported Human Rights Watch.
The West Municipality Court of Sanaa held its first session on 6 June 2021 of Al-Hammadi’s trial alongside two other actresses on charges of committing an “indecent act” and “drug possession”. The second hearing took place on 9 June 2021.
The Houthi authorities reportedly requested that the actress completes a “virginity test”, which she refused. She was then forced to sign a document while blindfolded and offered a release if she would help the authorities to capture their opponents with “sex, drugs and alcohol”.
Al-Hammadi has been kidnapped and arbitrarily detained since 20 February 2021. The actress’s whereabouts were unknown to her family. Human Rights Watch reports that in March 2021 she was transferred to the Central Prison in Sanaa. Al-Hammadi’s lawyer received an explanation that said that the actress was arrested because she was in the car with an individual accused of drug dealing.
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22 April 2021
The Houthis plan to launch a criminal investigation against actress and model Entesar Al-Hammadi, kidnapped by them on 20 February 2021 alongside two other actresses under the allegation of “violating Islamic dress codes”.
“Kidnapping actress Entesar Al-Hammadi and her colleagues under the presumption of violating Islamic dress codes is an unlawful restriction of freedom,” said Emily D’Alterio, Freemuse Communications Manager. “We urge the Yemeni authorities to conduct a comprehensive investigation and for the results of this investigation to be made public. We further call for the immediate release of actresses from custody.”
It has been confirmed that the three actresses were on their way to a movie set when the Houthis stopped and took them to an unknown location.
The Houthi is a movement supporting Yemen’s Zaidi Shia Muslim minority and controlling a broad area in Western Yemen. The movement rebelled against former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. The Houthis used the new president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi’s instability by taking control of northern Saada in 2014, as BBC reports.
According to Alsahwa-Yemen, earlier this year, the Houthi militia launched a campaign against workplaces employing women to exclude women in the regions under the Shia’s areas of control.
Al-Hammadi is said to be the “first professional Yemeni makeup artist to emerge in the war-torn country.” She is also a fashion model, which led her to acting and appearing in two Ramadan series in Yemen last year.
Freemuse calls for a comprehensive investigation into the kidnapping of the three actresses and for their immediate release.