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Yemen rebels urged to free prominent activist

International rights groups have urged Yemen's Shia rebels to free a prominent activist who used social media to document the war which has ravaged the impoverished Arab nation.

Human Rights Watch said Hisham al-Omeisy, a vocal critic of Yemen's warring parties, is being held without charge in an undisclosed location after he was detained on August 14 in the capital, Sanaa.

The New York-based group says Mr al-Omeisy's family and lawyers have had no access to him.

Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said Yemen "more than ever needs activists like Hisham al-Omeisy to bring attention to the devastation that war, famine, and disease have wrought on the country and its people".

Amnesty International also made a similar appeal for the release of Mr al-Omeisy.

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