Aspiring Yemeni model of rebels is now facing persecution

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Entesar Al-Hammadi was kidnapped by Houthi rebels. Twitter

Entesar Al-Hammadi, an aspiring 20-year-old Yemeni model and actress who along with two friends was kidnapped by Houthi rebels on a Sanaa street, is now the subject of a criminal investigation, according to a Arabic news report.

Her lawyer, Khaled Mohammed Al-Kamal, told media he was informed that a prosecutor from the rebel-controlled court in West Sanaa will question Al-Hammadi on Sunday. He did not say the focus of the investigation, but observers and rights groups believe it is linked to violations of traditional Islamic dress codes.

Yemeni officials said Al-Hammadi and two other actresses were traveling to record a drama series on February 20 when the rebels stopped their vehicle and took them to an unknown location. This kidnapping is the latest in a series of kidnappings by Houthi rebels of dissidents and liberal women in areas under the control of the group.

Last year, Al-Hammadi told a local TV station that she wanted to travel abroad to work as a model, citing parental and civic resistance at home. “It would be great if I had a chance outside of Yemen,” she said.