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2017 15 May Hundreds of Yemenis gathered in front of the Criminal Prosecution building in the capital city of Sana'a. They were denouncing the arrest of Yemeni citizens of the Bahá'í faith and calling for their release. The demonstrations were not led by the usual human rights crew but by tribal leaders of some of the most influential tribes in the country, prominently that of the Bani Mattar.
  • What brought the tribes out was the arrest of Sheikh Walid Saleh Ayyash, who has the distinction of being both a prominent tribal figure and one of the 2,000 or so Yemenis who practice the Bahá'í faith. It was Ayyash’s faith that led to his arrest on April 19, as he was driving from the city of Ibb to the port of Hudaydah. Along with another Bahá'í who was in the car, Ayyash was arrested by Houthi forces and transferred to the Hudaydah prison. A statement by the tribal leaders called Ayash “a distinguished personality among the Arab tribes … well-known for his integrity and wisdom, for his love, loyalty and devotion to his country, for his tolerance and respect for the government and the law.”
  • The leaders had previously met with Khalid Al-Mawari, the Houthi government’s Chief of Special Criminal Prosecution. He had promised them that Ayyash would be transferred to Sana'a. When that failed to happen, they organized the demonstration. [TRACKPERSIA 25 Aug 2017]
  • Sana'a; Yemen Sheikh Walid Saleh Ayyash; Khalid Al-Mawari; Persecution, Yemen; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights
     
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