On May 25, armed Huthi forces stormed a peaceful gathering of Baha’is in Sana’a, Yemen. They detained and forcibly disappeared 17 individuals including five women and human rights and humanitarian workers. Following international pressure, six people were released – one man and three women in June, and two men in July. However, 11 individuals, nine men and two women, remain in Huthi custody and their whereabouts remain unknown. They are at risk of further violations at the hands of the Huthi authorities, including torture and other ill-treatment or even death. They must be immediately and unconditionally released.
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Spokesperson for the Huthi de facto authorities – Mohamed Abdelsalam
Email: [email protected]
Yemen Ambassador to the United States Mohammed Al-Hadhrami
The Embassy of Yemen
2319 Wyoming Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20008
Dear Mohamed Abdelsalam,
I am alarmed that 11 Baha’i individuals, nine men and two women, remain forcibly disappeared by the Huthi de facto authorities following a raid on a peaceful gathering on May 25, 2023. This is another egregious violation of international human rights law in the Huthi de facto authorities’ ongoing persecution of the Baha’i community.
Huthi de facto authorities detained 17 Baha’i individuals in the raid. Days after the arrest of the Baha’is, the General Prosecutor denied a request for their release submitted by their lawyer. According to the lawyer, the authorities have failed to provide any information on where the Baha’is are being held and no lawyer has been able to communicate with them.
Among the 11 disappeared is Abdullah Al-Olofi, a father of four and a human rights activist who has led programs training activists on peaceful coexistence and freedom of religion and belief. Hassan Tariq Thabet, father to a two-year-old toddler, is a humanitarian worker who worked in food distribution. Abdul’elah Muhammad Al-Boni, a father of two with another child on the way, is deeply involved in charity work and community service.
I call on the Huthi de facto authorities to urgently disclose the fate and whereabouts of the 11 Baha’i detainees in their custody and to immediately and unconditionally release them. I also call on you to end all forms of discrimination and persecution of the Baha’i minority and all others who are targeted solely for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of religion and belief.