Baha’i prisoners in Yemen to be released, say Houthi authorities

Washington, D.C., March 25, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Houthi authorities in Yemen today ordered the release of all Baha'i prisoners, along with a pardon for prisoner of conscience Hamed bin Haydara, according to a television broadcast today by Mr. Mahdi al-Mashat, President of the Houthi Supreme Political Council. Mr. Haydara's death sentence was previously upheld on March 22 by an appeals court in Sana'a.

In a statement, the Baha’i International Community (BIC) welcomed the announcement, calling for its immediate implementation. They named the six Baha'is to be released, aside from Mr. Haydara, as Mr. Waleed Ayyash, Mr. Akram Ayyash, Mr. Kayvan Ghaderi, Mr. Badiullah Sanai, and Mr. Wael al-Arieghie. The BIC previously described their imprisonment as "religiously motivated," and driven by "baseless charges."

The BIC further advocated for the Houthi authorities to drop charges that were issued in 2018 against over 20 other Baha'is, to return seized assets and properties of members of the Baha'i community, and to allow the functioning of Baha'i institutions in Yemen.

"Like all other Yemeni citizens," the BIC stated, "Baha’is should be permitted to practice their faith freely, in keeping with the universal principles of freedom of religion or belief. The Baha’is of Yemen have and will continue to contribute to the life of their country and their fellow citizens."


Hamed bin Haydara, one of the imprisoned Yemeni Baha'is whose release was ordered today by the Houthi authorities.

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