Amnesty International has called for the release of Intisar al-Hammadi, a 20-year old Yemeni model who was arrested at a checkpoint in the city of Sanaa, currently controlled by Houthi rebels, in February.
The human rights group said al-Hammadi’s lawyer had been informed by a member of the prosecution team that the model might be subjected to a "virginity test" soon, with Amnesty branding these "a form of sexual violence amounting to torture under international law", according to Reuters.
"The Houthi de facto authorities have a deplorable track record of arbitrarily detaining people on baseless charges – to silence or punish critics, activists, journalists and members of religious minorities – as well as subjecting them to torture and other forms of ill-treatment", said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty's deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa.
Al-Hammadi has been charged with carrying out an indecent act and going against Islamic principles, Reuters notes, citing a judicial source.
"Intisar al-Hammadi has regularly appeared in photographs online including in social media posts, without a headscarf defying strict societal norms in Yemen”, Amnesty International stated.