Pro-Iranian regime Houthi leader releases persecuted Baha'is in Yemen

In a statement on al-Masirah TV, the Houthi leader declared the release of members of the persecuted religious minority group.

Houthi troops ride on the back of a police patrol truck after participating in a Houthi gathering in Sanaa, Yemen February 19, 2020 (photo credit: REUTERS/KHALED ABDULLAH)
Houthi troops ride on the back of a police patrol truck after participating in a Houthi gathering in Sanaa, Yemen February 19, 2020
(photo credit: REUTERS/KHALED ABDULLAH)
BERLIN—Mahdi al-Mashat, the head of the radical anti-American and anti-Israel Houthi political movement in Yemen, announced on Tuesday the release of all Baha’i faith members imprisoned by the violent organization.
In a statement on al-Masirah TV, the Houthi leader declared the release of members of the persecuted religious minority group, including Hamed bin Haydara, whose death sentence was affirmed earlier this week by a court in Sanaa.
The Baha’i community in Germany welcomed the announcement and urged the immediate implementation of the order to release its imprisoned members.
“The six Baha'is, who have been wrongfully detained in Sanaa for several years because of their religious beliefs, have been subjected to a series of baseless charges,” wrote the Baha’i community of Germany.
The six imprisoned Baha’is are :Hamed bin Haydara, Waleed Ayyash, Akram Ayyash, Kayvan Ghaderi, Badiullah Sanai and Wael al-Arieghie.
“Today's order must lead to the lifting of charges against a group of over 20 Bahá'ís from 2018, the return of all Bahá’í assets and property, and the functioning of the Bahá’í institutions,” the community said.
It continued saying that, “like all other Yemeni citizens, the Bahá'ís should be allowed to exercise their beliefs freely in accordance with the universal principles of freedom of religion and belief. The Bahá'ís in Yemen will continue to contribute to the well being of their country and their fellow citizens.”
The main Houthi slogan is: "God is Greater, Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse on the Jews, Victory to Islam."
The Islamic Republic of Iran is the main sponsor of the Houthi movement in Yemen. Iran’s regime has waged a campaign to repress Iranian Bahai’s and exclude the religious minority from public life, according to religious freedom monitors.
According to a 2019 report from The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, "There are more than 300,000 Baha’is in Iran, who together constitute the largest non-Muslim religious minority in the country. Iran’s government considers the Baha’i faith a heretical “deviant sect” whose members are de facto apostates. Despite promises by President Rouhani to end religious discrimination, Baha’is are not recognized by the state and are denied political, economic, cultural and social rights on this basis."
The report noted that "Over the past 10 years, more than 1,000 Baha’is have been arbitrarily arrested on the basis of their faith. Arrest orders come from revolutionary courts that were set up following the 1979 Islamic revolution, and are executed by both security forces and agents of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence. In February 2018, security forces arrested seven Baha’is in Bushehr, and five additional Baha’is were sentenced by the Revolutionary Court of Mashhad."