Sen's daily

August 12, 2016

30 Bahai youth arrested in Yemen, trial of Hamed Kamal Muhammad bin Haydara scheduled

Reuters, August 12, 2016.

Armed officers from the National Security Bureau in Yemen, an intelligence agency controlled by the Houthis, raided a Bahai youth convention in Sana’a on Wednesday (or Thursday afternoon, August 12: sources differ) and arrested 30 boys and girls, according to a Reuters report. The Houthis are a Zaidi Shiah group, widely thought to be supported by Iran. Bazdasht reports that 60 youth and adults were arrested, but the youth who were not Bahais were released after providing a surety such as a business licence and promising not to associate with Bahais. A number of the girls were also released.  The Bahais of Yemeni extraction were separated from those from Iran and other countries.

The trial of Hamed Kamal Muhammad bin Haydara (حامد کمال بن حیدرا) is scheduled to resume on August 14. He has been charged with collaborating with Israel by working for the Universal House of Justice, the Bahai supreme governing institution, which is based in Haifa, Israel. It is also alleged that he lured potential Muslim converts to the Bahai faith through charitable giving and tried to establish a homeland for the followers of the Bahai faith in Yemen. He has been detained since December 3, 2013, and has been tortured to extract a confession.

“The charges against Mr. bin Haydara are baseless and nonsensical and come after over a year of mistreatment, including solitary confinement, during which, privately, the authorities have repeatedly admitted their religious motives for the imprisonment,” said Bani Dugal, principal representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations. “Mr. bin Haydara is a well-respected and sincere family man who has not broken any laws. Baha’is do not proselytize as a matter of principle, and all native Yemenis who have joined the Baha’i Faith have done so of their own conviction,” Ms. Dugal added.

“The accusation of spying for Israel is a grotesque distortion of reality,” said Ms. Dugal. “The historical circumstances that led to the establishment of the administrative and spiritual center of the Baha’i Faith occurred well before the existence of the State of Israel.”

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  1. Can you supply a link to the original story? I couldn’t find it on Reuters.

    Comment by Dru — August 13, 2016 @ 19:16 | Reply

    • The Reuters story is linked at the top of the article, in the word “Reuters.” The report is entitled “Air strikes near Yemen’s capital wound six: residents” but read to the bottom of the story. Updates on that are coming out in Bahai sources, such as this one.

      The scheduled trial of Hamed Kamal Muhammad bin Haydara is widely reported by Bahai sources and Human Rights organisations, for example here.

      Comment by Sen — August 14, 2016 @ 06:51 | Reply

  2. So they arrest him for working for the World Centre of the Baha’i Faith, which is located in Israel. The reason that the World Centre of that religion is in Israel is because the Iranian government under the Shah in 1868 exiled the Prophet-Founder of the Faith to Akka, Israel. So whose fault is it that it is in Israel?

    Comment by Robert Thaggard — August 14, 2016 @ 19:57 | Reply

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