The Yemeni legitimate government officially denounced the Houthi militias for forcing six Baha’i leaders into exile, labeling the deportation a crime.
The Iran-backed Houthis, two days ago, had forcibly exiled six Baha’i community members, including Hamid Haydara, the leader of the faith group in Yemen. The leaders had boarded a plane to leave Sanaa after the Houthis gave them given an ultimatum of either departing the country or returning to prison.
"What happened is as heinous as the crime of abducting them from their houses, holding them at detention centers for years, exposing them to the worst physical and psychological tortures and appropriating their properties," Information Minister Muammar al-Eryani said.
In official statements, he blasted the Houthis for forcibly exiling the Baha’i leaders, saying that it constitutes a flagrant violation of international laws and conventions and labeling it a crime against humanity.
Eryani also said that the deportation reflects the level of oppression faced by citizens in Houthi-run areas due to their racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds.
The minister also called upon the international community, the UN chief, UN special envoy to Yemen and all international organizations concerned with human rights and defending minorities to condemn this "dangerous precedent" and to pressure Houthis into stopping their racist acts against religious minorities in Yemen.
Well-informed sources in Sanaa confirmed on Sunday that the Baha’is were initially released in response to UN efforts. The sources, however, revealed that the Houthis gave them an ultimatum of either staying in prison or leaving Houthi-run territory. This comes despite the militias allegedly issuing general amnesty for the Baha’is some four months ago.