- Religious Freedom
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ottawa, ON – David Anderson, Member of Parliament for Cypress Hills—Grasslands and Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Human Rights and Religious Freedom, calls for the immediate release of Mr. Hamed bin Haydara, a Yemeni Bahá’í imprisoned for over 4 years, and recently sentenced to death, for his religious beliefs.
“The Specialized Criminal Court in Sana’a, Yemen has sentenced a Bahá’í prisoner, Hamed bin Haydara, to public execution and the confiscation of all his assets. We call on the Houthi authorities to rescind the ruling and immediately release Mr. Haydara and all Bahá’í prisoners in Yemen. His cruel imprisonment and outrageous sentence is due to nothing more than his religious beliefs,” said Anderson.
“This ruling is unprecedented in the persecution of the Bahá’í. It is becoming increasingly clear that there is an intention to eradicate the Bahá’í community from Yemen. The prolonged court proceedings, completely devoid of substantive evidence and the rule of law, focused on baseless charges surrounding Mr. Haydara’s supposed communication with the Universal House of Justice – the administrative centre of the Bahá’í – in Israel.”
The judge’s ruling was coupled with the directive that all Bahá’í elected governing councils in Yemen be dissolved. This order places other prominent Bahá’í leaders, and the community at large, in increased danger.
“Mr. Haydara’s case adds to many independent reports linking the persecution of the Yemeni Bahá’í to pressure from Iranian authorities. Raids, arrests, seizures and confiscations have increased and mirror the decades-old effort to suppress and intimidate Iranian Bahá’ís,” added Anderson.
“In addition to the immediate release of Mr. Haydara and all Bahá’í prisoners of conscience, I once again implore the Liberal government to take religious persecution seriously, and intervene on Mr. Haydara’s behalf.”
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