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|2020. 25 Mar
||The Houthi authorities announced the intended release of all Bahá'í prisoners in Yemen as well as a pardon for Hamed bin Haydara whose death sentence was upheld by an appeals court in Sana’a just two days prior. The six Bahá'ís that were to be released from custody were the aforementioned Mr. Hamed bin Haydara, as well as Mr. Waleed Ayyash, Mr. Akram Ayyash, Mr. Kayvan Ghaderi, Mr. Badiullah Sanai, and Mr. Wael al-Arieghie.
The Bahá'í International Community further advocated for the Houthi authorities to drop charges that were issued in 2018 against over 20 other Bahá'ís, to return seized assets and properties of members of the Bahá'í community, and to allow the functioning of Bahá'í institutions in Yemen.
[Asharq Al-Awsat 27 March 2020]
The announcement was made In a general television address by Mr. Mahdi al-Mashat, President of the Houthi Supreme Political Council. [BIC 25 March 2020]
Notwithstanding the above, the prisoners were not released.
||Persecution, Yemen; Persecution, Court cases; Hamed bin Haydara; Waleed Ayyash; Akram Ayyash; Kayvan Ghaderi; Badiullah Sanai; Wael al-Arieghie; Baha'i International Community
|2020. 30 Jul
||It was announced that Mr. Hamed bin Haydara, Mr. Waleed Ayyash, Mr. Akram Ayyash, Mr. Kayvan Ghaderi, Mr. Badiullah Sanai, and Mr. Wael al-Arieghie, prominent Bahá'ís that had been imprisoned by the Houthi authorities in Sana’a, were released from prison in Sana’a. Their years-long incarceration on charges of espionage and heresy had drawn worldwide condemnation.
Following their release, the Bahá'í International Community called for the lifting of all charges against these six individuals and the other Bahá'ís that had been charged, the return of their assets and properties, and the safeguarding of the rights of all Bahá'ís in Yemen to live according to their beliefs without risk of persecution.
[BIC News 30 July 2020]
The release of the six came four months after the Shiite Houthis announced they had commuted the death sentence of Hamed bin Haydara and ordered his release, as well as that of the other five detainees. The six men were flown out of Yemen to Ethiopia late on Thursday, said bin Haydara’s wife, Alham. It was reported that they were living in “safe” locations in Europe, receiving medication for wounds and diseases that they contracted during their detention inside Houthi prisons.
[San Francisco Chronicle 30 July 2020; Arab News 20/11/2020]
The six had been detained at various times:
Mr. Haydara, an engineer, was arrested because of his beliefs at his workplace in December 2013. Following a long court case that lacked due process, he was sentenced to death in 2018. His appeal was rejected in 2020.
Mr. Ghaderi, a project officer, was arrested in 2016 when a gathering was raided.
In April 2017, Mr. Waleed Ayyash, a Yemeni tribal leader, was arrested on his way to Hudaydah and was held in an undisclosed location.
The following month, Mr. Al-Arieghie, a civil rights activist, was abducted by the authorities in Sana’a.
Mr. Sana’i, a prominent civil engineer in Yemen in his late 60s, was arrested in front of his workplace.
In October 2017, Mr. Akram Ayyash, a manager of a nonprofit organization, was arrested during a raid by security forces on a Bahá'í celebration.
In September 2018, these five, along with nineteen others, were indicted at a court hearing in Sana’a under baseless charges. [BWNS1443]
Diane Ala'i, representative of the Bahá'í International Community, expressed gratitude to the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for their support. [The National]
Upon their release they were immediately exiled from the country. [AL Monitor 10 August 2020]
Following another court hearing on 22 August 2020 the charges against the six men were not dropped and the prosecution declared the recently released men as “fugitives” despite the fact that their departure from Yemen had been a condition of their release. The prosecution asked the bailors to ensure the compulsory attendance of five of them at the next hearing scheduled for the 12th of September. [BIC News]
|Sanaa; Yemen; Ethiopia
||Persecution, Yemen; Hamed bin Haydara; Waleed Ayyash; Akram Ayyash; Kayvan Ghaderi; Badiullah Sanai; Wael al-Arieghie; Bahai International Community