Yemeni Baha’is say that Hamed Haydara, a Baha’i sentenced to death one year ago, received unfair treatment by a judge in an appeal hearing on Monday.
A Baha’i in Yemen told Conatus News that Hamed Bin Haydara, a Baha’i sentenced to death by Yemen’s ruling Houthi party Ansar Allah since January 2018, received unfair and biased treatment in an appeal hearing on Monday. There is still no verdict.
Our source said,
“The head of the appeal court was Judge Abdullah Al-Najari. The judge wanted to read the charges of the first primary court but it was over 80 pages and he was exhausted after 2-3 pages so he went on to read the summary, which had the charges from the first primary trial. With the verdict of the execution of Hamed and confiscation of all his belongings, plus dissolving of all Baha’i institutions.
Hamed’s lawyer mentioned that Hamed didn’t get an official copy of the verdict until now, one year after the verdict. But the head of the prosecution office, Khaled Al-Maori, was in the court and lied that ‘we tried to give it to Hamed but he refused to receive it.”
At the end of the day the lawyer asked for permission to have a copy of the case file verdict, which was given. He also asked for permission to access Hamed in the central prison, which was not granted earlier, but this time he accepted it.
And based on some information, it seems that they are planning to have the court case against the rest of the 24 Baha’is early next week. The charges of them are similar to Hamed so there is a high risk of execution sentence for the rest. The judge is the same judge who took Hamed’s case.
The way the judge was talking in the court made it very obvious that he is biased toward the authorities.”
Our source calls upon international politicians and citizens to raise their voices against the detainment, death sentence, and treatment in court of Hamed Haydara, and all other Baha’is in Yemen.
At the UN’s Sweden Peace Talks, which took place in December, The Houthis reportedly agreed to release 131 Baha’is from prison, however our source said that there are only six imprisoned at the moment, and none of them have yet been released, despite what the Houthis say.
Our source said, “The international community needs to show the Houthis that politics is not a game. They promise to respect human rights and release Baha’i detainees, but in real life, they do the opposite.”
Abdollah Al Olofi, the spokesperson of Yemen’s Baha’i community, said that the next appeal hearing will be January 29.
Tara is a journalist and campaigner based in San Francisco, US