A young Yemeni model who was abducted by Houthi rebels and tried on trumped-up charges of prostitution, drug dealing and breaching Islamic norms has tried to commit suicide in jail.
Entesar Al-Hammadi, 20, tried to hang herself in a rebel-controlled prison on Monday, 28th June.
Her lawyer, Khaled Mohammed Al-Kamal, reported that she attempted suicide after the rebels transferred her to a ward of the prison designated for prostitutes.
According to the lawyer, she was only saved when a child spotted her hanging and cried out, though it is not clear what a child was doing in the prison.
It was reported on Wednesday, 30th June that the 20-year-old woman was being treated in hospital following her suicide attempt.
Her lawyer described her mental and physical state as “very, very difficult”.
Al-Hammadi was a teenager when she and two friends were snatched off a street in the rebel-controlled capital, Sanaa, on 20th February.
She was taken to a secret location, where she was “subjected to interrogation while blindfolded” and “physically abused”, according to Amnesty International.
Amnesty also raised the alarm that her staunchly conservative captors would force her to undergo a “virginity test”.
Despite the case receiving international attention, the Houthis have refused to release the young woman, whom they had kept in solitary confinement.
According to activists, the rebels punished the model and actress, whose mother is Ethiopian, for refusing to spy on their behalf.
Al-Hammadi continues to deny all charges against her, which activists have denounced as “broad”, “vague” and “arbitrary”.
Houthi forces have controlled Sanaa and the surrounding area since September 2014. Their government is largely unrecognised.
The dangers facing journalists in rebel-controlled areas of the country have often made reports difficult to verify.