Middle East

Activists: Yemeni policewomen beat up female rally in south

Activists behind a women’s rally in southern Yemen say female security forces descended on the demonstration, beating the women and dispersing the small gathering.

The activists say policewomen stripped one protester of her niqab, the all-covering face veil worn by conservative Muslim women, then punched her repeatedly in the face during Wednesday’s rally in the port city of Aden.

The activists say two women were briefly detained and interrogated. They spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing retribution.

The rally took place near troop headquarters of the United Arab Emirates, which is part of a Saudi-led coalition backing Yemen’s government in the war with northern Shia rebels.

The protesters, mothers and sisters of scores of detainees held without charges at undisclosed locations, chanted: “Oh coalition, where are our sons?”

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