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yemen 1242263 640Hamed bin Haydara, a leader of the Baha’i faith in Yemen, has been imprisoned since 2013 over charges of apostasy and insulting the Islam. He has reportedly been tortured and denied both medical and legal assistance. Over the past five years, his trial date has repeatedly been postponed, raising and dashing the hopes of his community. When the Houthi courts of northern Yemen finally issued a ruling on January 2, 2018, their decision brought shock, not relief. Not only is bin Haydara sentenced to public execution, but the country’s Baha’i institutions are to be legally disbanded, leaving the community leaderless and in fear of further persecution.

Tragically, in the five months since this blatant act of religious persecution, conditions for Baha’is in Yemen have worsened, prompting the U.S. State Department to issue a statement in May condemning “actions and rhetoric by Houthi leaders [that] exemplify the vilification and oppression of the Baha’is in Yemen” and calling on the Houthis to “end their unacceptable treatment of Baha’is” and to “allow the Baha’i community to practice their religion without fear of intimidation or reprisals.”

The Globe Post - Religious Minority of Baha’is in Yemen Relive Iranian Nightmare