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Nick McAlpin

Yemeni model kidnapped by Houthis, family forced into silence

Houthi rebels have controlled Sanaa since 2014 [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 April, 2021

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Yemeni model Entisar Al-Hammadi was kidnapped over a month ago by Houthi rebels.
A Yemeni model and actress has been kidnapped by the Houthis in the nation's capital, Sanaa, sparking global outrage this week.

Nineteen-year-old Entisar Al-Hammadi was detained by Yemen rebels around a month back, sources said, despite initial reports she was kidnapped on Sunday.

Baraa Shiban, a caseworker at the legal action NGO Reprieve, said Al-Hammadi's family were coerced into silence with the promise Entisar would be released.

Despite this, Al-Hamaadi remains detained.

Al-Hammadi's father is Yemeni and her mother Ethiopian, and was planning to attend university next year, according to Arab News.

In an interview with Balqees TV in 2020, she said she chose to become a model despite her parents saying her ambitions were "pie in the sky."

While she began shooting images wearing a hijab, her eventual decision to model without one prompted a backlash in some parts of Yemen, Arab News reported.

Yemeni journalist Ali Al-Sakani said: "Being a model isn’t a crime.

"[The] #Houthis must immediately and unconditionally release Entisar."

Read more: How the odds were stacked against Yemen's Arab Spring revolution

Twitter users began using the hashtag #FreeEntisar in English and Arabic, demanding the Houthis release her.

Some of those commenting on the incident also expressed anger at the US government for cancelling the group’s terror designation in February.

Asaad Hanna, CEO of EmissaLLC and freelance journalist, tweeted: "That's how ISIS used to operate, and now the US doesn’t consider the Houthi[s] as a terrorist organization!"

Al-Hammadi’s kidnapping is part of a pattern of similar Houthi abuses.

The UN Security Council recently sanctioned a senior Houthi police figure for involvement in the forced disappearance of women.

The group also arrested ten journalists during raids in the capital in 2015, sentencing four of them to death last April.

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