Baha'is urge parties in Yemen to include Baha'is in Sana'a in prisoners exchange
02/05/2019 | 03:16pm EDT
Washington, D.C., Feb. 05, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Under the supervision of the UN, the internationally recognized Yemeni government and the Houthi authorities are continuing talks today in Amman, Jordan, concerning a prisoner swap, and the Baha’i International Community (BIC) has called for for the two parties to include six detained Baha’is in Houthi-controlled Sana’a in the negotiations.
“There is no doubt that the Houthis are holding six Baha’is in Sana’a solely because of their religious beliefs,” said Diane Alai, Representative of the BIC to the United Nations.
“Therefore, it is essential that these prisoners of conscience be included in the prisoners exchange and be released as soon as possible.”
The U.S. Baha’i Office of Public Affairs in Washington, D.C., added to the call of the BIC, also urging the Houthis and Yemeni government to include the Baha’is.
“Prisoners of conscience should be unacceptable to any just government,” said Mr. Anthony Vance, Director of the U.S. Baha’i Office of Public Affairs. “These Baha’is are innocent of any crime, and all but one of them have been separated from their families for over a year and half—one for over five years. It’s time for them to come home.”
Court records in Sana’a confirm the assertion that the six Baha’is are imprisoned because of their religious beliefs. All have also appeared recently in courts in Sana’a. Last week, one of the Baha’is, Mr. Hamed bin Haydara, attended a court date to appeal the death sentence that was handed down to him in January 2018.
James Samimi Farr
US Baha'i Office of Public Affairs