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Houthis Deport 6 Baha’i Community Members from Yemen

Houthis Deport 6 Baha’i Community Members from Yemen

Sunday, 2 August, 2020 - 08:30
Deported Baha'i members on board a UN-provided plane. (social media)

Weeks after deporting a Jewish Yemeni family, the Iran-backed Houthi militias exiled six Baha’i leaders after years of jailing and trying them for apostasy and espionage.

Well-informed sources in Sanaa confirmed that the six Baha’is were initially released in response to UN efforts. The sources, however, revealed that Houthis gave them an ultimatum of either staying in prison or leaving Houthi-run territory. This comes despite the Houthis allegedly issuing general amnesty for the Baha’is some four months ago.

The amnesty decision includes the faith group’s leader who was facing a death sentence.

Baha’i sources in Yemen told Asharq Al-Awsat the six sent to exile are: Hamid Haydara, Walid Ayash, Akram Ayash, Kivan Qadiri, Badeehallah Sanai and Wael al-Ariqi.

They were transferred from Houthi intelligence holding facilities to the airport in Sanaa where the UN, through the office of special envoy Martin Griffiths, and its agencies ran the negotiations for their release.

The Baha’i International Community group welcomed the releases and called for their assets to be returned, for all charges against Baha’is in Yemen to be dropped and for Baha’is to live in Yemen without persecution. The released have been granted asylum in a European country.

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