Verdict in controversial trial of Yemeni model expected within weeks: Report

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A verdict in the controversial Houthi trial of a Yemeni model may be delivered within two weeks, Al Arabiya reported.

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Entisar al-Hammadi, 20, is accused of inciting girls to engage in prostitution in a trial that has been marred with irregularities, according to human rights groups. She denies the charges.

Her defense lawyer claims she was physically and verbally abused by interrogators, subjected to racist insults, forced to sign a document while blindfolded, and threatened with a ‘virginity test’ by prosecutors, the BBC reported.

Defending al-Hammadi, lawyers argued that charges should be dropped as there is no evidence to back them up.

Human Rights Watch said in an earlier report that the Iran-backed Houthis are trying al-Hammadi unfairly.

Al-Hammadi and three companions were detained on their way to a photo session on February 20.

In May, human rights organization Amnesty International stated that she was forced to confess to several crimes, including drug possession and prostitution.

Born to a Yemeni father and an Ethiopian mother, the young woman worked as a model for four years, and acted in two Yemeni TV series in 2020.

At the time of her detention, members of her family told Human Rights Watch that she was the sole breadwinner for her family of four, including her blind father and her brother who has a physical disability.

Rates of violence against women in Yemen are high, with more than 2.6 million girls and women having been victims of violence according to a 2020 report by the United Nations Population Fund.

The Houthi militia has been fighting a war against the internationally-recognized government since 2015. The group has not commented on the case.

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