In Yemen, A Girls Dream of Becoming a Model Ends in Solitary Confinement
  • 27/07/2022
    SAM |

    Taiz-Muhammed Farhan

    The Yemeni actress and model, Entisar Al-Hammadi, 21years old, lived in the Houthi controlled city of Sana’a, Shumaila neighbourhood. As a Yemeni girl, she dreamed of completing her studies by joining a university to study the major she desired so that she can be self- actualized through working after graduation. This is not what happened with the 21-year-old girl whose story has become today the most famous tragic humanitarian story of a Yemeni woman forcibly disappeared behind prison bars by the Houthi group since February 2021 until today.

    Entisar was kidnapped from Hadda Street while she was with her colleagues by Houthi armed men. Her whereabouts remained unknown for more than five months until her place of detention was identified after activists and some parliamentary figures visited the place where she was detained by the security services of the Houthi group. During that period, her family didn’t know her fate or her whereabouts.

    What was reported at the time by those who visited her, in separate statements to various media outlets, that Entisar Al Hammadi was subjected to torture and physical and verbal abuse, and charges were brought against her by the security services of the group, which were published in the group’s media regarding honour cases.

    Entisar Al-Hammadi was sentenced to five years in prison in November 2021, according to what was reported at the time by the "Saba" agency, the mouthpiece of the Houthi government in Sana'a, on charges of committing an "indecent act".

    Entisar al-Hammadi said, according to what was reported by those who met her, including her lawyer Khaled al-Kamal, that she was subjected to physical and verbal abuse during her detention in February, and that she signed documents while blindfolded.

    Everything ended in Entisar Al Hammadi's life. Her ambition has turned into a very painful human tragedy and a bitter life behind bars where the group exerts a lot of psychological pressure on her by torturing her mentally and depriving her of many of her rights.

    This led to the deterioration of her health as she is denied visits. Also, there is great pressure that is being exerted against her mother, according to an activist who confirmed this to "SAM", so that her case will not be mentioned or followed up by the media, and she remains a disappeared person who no body knows the details of her torture or the inhuman violations committed against her.

    The Houthi group shaved her hair as a kind of humiliation method for a girl who is at the mercy of the security investigators of the Houthi group, in addition to psychological abuse, which for a girl like Entisar Al Hammadi means unbearable psychological harm. She never imagined that she would experience such a thing one day considering that she had started successful steps in her career. She had the experience of acting in two Yemeni series in 2020. The first is called "Sad Al-Gharib", a Yemeni social series that achieved wide success, and the second is the "Ghurbat Al-Bun", which is one of the most watched series in Yemen. In addition, Entisar rose to prominence through modelling and fashion. Her experience was different as she developed the method of designing traditional Yemeni folk costumes, and her work during the last three years in Sana'a and even at the Arab level before her arrest was widely spread on Facebook and Instagram.

    Although, as she expressed in one of her social media posts, she suffered from how some used to deal with her because she is from an Ethiopian mother and a Yemeni father, she was able to transcend that view and began her career in fashion and design distinctly and successfully.

    Her life has become in danger inside the prisons of the Houthi group since human rights defenders receive information confirming that she is being subjected to constant torture.

    Her life and that of her family turned into hell as she was the sole breadwinner for her family of four, including her blind father and her brother who has a physical disability.

    Behind the bars, Entisar Al Hammadi remains the girl whose dream in this wounded homeland has turned into groans and tears locked in solitary confinement with her pain and tragedy hidden from the human conscience, which did not move to save her. When will the cause of her and all the girls behind the prisons of the Houthi group be victorious?

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