BIC urges parties in Yemen to include Baha’is in Sana’a in prisoners exchange
The Baha'i International Community (BIC) strongly urges the parties in Yemen to include six Baha'is detained for religiously-motivated reasons in Houthi-controlled Sana’a in the prisoner exchange. Further discussions on the exchange are set to take place today in Amman, Jordan, under the supervision of the UN.
According to court records, all six have been detained due to their religious beliefs and have appeared, in recent months, before courts in the city of Sana’a. Mr. Hamed bin Haydara, for instance, appeared before the appeals court last week to contest the verdict he received last year, which called for his execution and the disbanding of all Bahá’í institutions.
“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 Baha’i International Community 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 call comes amid UN-backed talks between the warring parties. A prisoner exchange deal between the Houthis and the Yemeni government was initially agreed to by the parties as part of the talks.