Houthi gunmen attack peaceful Bahai gathering, arresting at least 17 people.

Houthi gunmen attack peaceful Bahai gathering, arresting at least 17 people.


NEW YORK, May 26, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Houthi gunmen carried out a violent raid on a peaceful Bahá’í gathering in Sana’a, Yemen, on May 25, arresting at least 17 people, including five women, and conducting a violent assault forcibly disappear. The raid leaves Yemeni Bahá’ís shaken by the latest crackdown on a severely persecuted religious community in that country. The Baha’i International Community (BIC) calls for the immediate release of the detainees.

A Video The latest attack was captured by Baha’is who joined the gathering via Zoom.

“Across the Arab region we see governments striving to work towards peace, putting aside outdated social differences, promoting peaceful coexistence and looking to the future,” said Bani Dugal, the BIC’s principal representative at the United Nations . “But in Sana’a, the de facto Houthi authorities are going in the opposite direction, redoubling their persecution of religious minorities and conducting brazen armed crackdowns on peaceful and unarmed civilians. The Houthi have violated the human rights of Bahá’ís and many others, time and time again, and it must stop.”

The attack came as a group of Bahá’ís gathered at a private home to elect the community’s national governing body. The move is a clear violation of freedom of religion and belief, as well as the right to assemble and regulate religious and community affairs under international agreements.

Baha’i have no clergy and form councils annually to attend to the spiritual and material needs of their communities.

Bahá’ís in Yemen have endured years of arrest, detention, interrogation and torture, as well as public incitement to violence at the hands of the Houthis, who have also confiscated Bahá’í property. Several Yemeni Baha’is have been banned from the country. The government has not yet dismissed an earlier case against 24 Bahá’ís.

“Even as negotiations for an end to the war in Yemen continue, we see the Houthi authorities continuing to use violent measures of persecution against their own members…


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