US accused of Yemen proxy detention

Al Jazeera reports that Yemeni security agents abducted and detained Sharif Mobley, an American citizen living in Yemen, on behalf of the US government. Mobley disappeared after visiting the US embassy in in Sana’a.

Mobley says he was chained, blindfolded, to a hospital bed, being interrogated by two men who introduced themselves as “Matt and Khan” and said they worked for the US government. His lawyers say the two men told him that he would never see his family again and would be raped in Yemeni prison.

The lawyers say he was interrogated repeatedly over the coming weeks, and that he was badly beaten by Yemeni security forces while being moved between detention facilities.

Eventually he says he was taken to another hospital, where Matt and Khan continued to question him over his links to al-Awlaki. His lawyers say that at no point was he offered consular assistance, and that he was desperate for news of his family, who he was told would be arrested.

In early March, Mobley is alleged to have launched an escape bid from the hospital, in which he is accused of shooting dead one of his guards and wounding another. Murdering a guard is a capital offence in Yemen; if found guilty in his upcoming trial, Mobley could be executed by firing squad.

Meanwhile, his lawyers are calling for US authorities to release all information pertaining to his case as a matter of urgency, arguing that the court needs the full facts surrounding Mobley’s initial detention in January to ensure he has a fair trial.

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