On May 25th 2023, armed Huthi forces stormed a peaceful gathering of Baha’is in Sana’a, Yemen. They detained and forcibly disappeared 17 individuals, among them five women. One individual has since been released but the other 16 remain in Huthi custody and their fate and whereabouts remain unknown. The Baha’is are a religious minority in Yemen that have faced ongoing persecution in violation of their right to freedom of religion and belief at the hands of the Huthi de facto authorities. The 16 forcibly disappeared Baha’is are at risk of further violations at the hands of Huthi authorities, including torture and other ill-treatment. They must be immediately and unconditionally released.
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Spokesperson for the Huthi de facto authorities
Email: [email protected]
Ambassador Mohammed A. Al-Hadhrami
Embassy of Yemen
2319 Wyoming Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (202) 965-4760
Dear Mohamed Abdelsalam,
I am alarmed to learn that 16 Baha’i individuals, among them five women, have been forcibly disappeared by the Huthi de facto authorities following a raid on a peaceful gathering on 25 May 2023. This is an egregious violation of international human rights law and another escalation in the Huthi de facto authorities’ ongoing and flagrant persecution of the Baha’i minority- a religious minority in Yemen- in violation of their right to freedom of religion and belief.
Days after the arrest of the Baha’is, the general prosecutor denied a request for their release submitted by a lawyer. To date, 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.
I am concerned that the 16 Baha’i individuals in custody are at risk of further violations, including torture and other-ill treatment, forced confessions, and unfair trials on spurious and trumped-up charges that may carry the death penalty. These violations have all been documented as tools of repression used by the Huthi de facto authorities to crack down on individuals they perceive as opponents, including members of the Baha’i community. Since their arrest, the Huthi authorities have incited violence and discrimination against this religious minority, which puts further individuals at risk of grave human rights violations.
I call on the Huthi de facto authorities to urgently disclose the fate and whereabouts of the 16 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.