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Yemen: Huthis must quash death sentence of Baha’i prisoner of conscience

    January 03, 2018

    Responding to the news that Huthi authorities sentenced 52-year-old Yemeni prisoner of conscience Hamid Haydara to death for allegedly collaborating with Israel and forging official documents, Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Research and Advocacy Director said:

    “The Huthi authorities must immediately quash the death sentence against Hamid Haydara. He is a prisoner of conscience who has been tried on account of his conscientiously held beliefs and peaceful activities as a member of the Baha’i community.

    “This sentence is the result of a fundamentally flawed process, including trumped up charges, an unfair trial and credible allegations that Hamid Haydara was tortured and ill-treated in custody. It is also part of a wider crackdown on critics, journalists, human rights defenders and members of the Baha’i community that is causing entire families to live in fear for their safety and the safety of their loved ones.

    “The death penalty is a violation of the right to life and the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. Hamid Haydara’s death sentence must immediately be revoked and he should be immediately and unconditionally released and given full redress.

    “The Huthi authorities must end their persecution of the Baha’i community and respect their right to freedom of religion – a right that is enshrined in the country’s own constitution and international law.

    Background:

    Hamid Kamal Muhammad bin Haydara, has been detained in Sana’a since December 2013.

     

    At the moment five Baha’is are detained by the Huthis in Yemen, including some who have been subjected to enforced disappearances.

     

    Amnesty International together with Yemeni NGO Mwatana Organization for Human Rights issued a public statement and wrote to relevant Sana’a-based officials in March 2017 to raise serious concerns regarding the basis for Hamid Haydara’s ongoing detention as well as the deeply flawed legal proceedings in his case, including prolonged pre-trial detention, undue delays in his trial, allegations of torture and other ill-treatment in custody, lack of access to adequate medical treatment and lack of access to legal counsel during his interrogations. No response has been received yet to these letters.

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    For more information please contact: Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations 416-363-9933 ext 332 bberton-hunter@amnesty.ca