Later that evening, girls under the age of 18 were released. On the following day, August 11, all but three of the remaining women were released on bail; two men were also released. On August 16, 11 more individuals were released. As of today, 23 men and three women remain in prison.
This incident signals an escalation in the targeting of Baha'is in Yemen. Prior to the raid, a single Baha'i, Mr. Hamed bin Haydara, was the only Baha'i in detention in Yemen. He has been imprisoned since December of 2013 and has been subjected to torture, abuse and denied any semblance of due process or a fair trial.
Concern for the 23 remaining detainees is still high. They were targeted for no other reason than their religion, and they continue to be held without charge. Past experiences, including that of Mr. bin Haydara, suggests that if these individuals are not quickly released, they will be subject to a protracted and baseless court case and the ever-present threat of abusive treatment in the National Security Agency prison.
Several individuals and groups have already spoken out against the arrests and detention of these 60 people last week, including Arwa Uthman, a human rights activist and the former Minister of Culture; Abdul-Bari Taher, a journalist; the Secularists for Peace Movement; and the Quranis.
For additional information, please contact the U.S. Baha'i Office of Public Affairs at (202) 833-8990.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/us-bahai-office-of-public-affairs-announces-sixty-men-women-and-children-arrested-at-bahai-gathering-in-yemen-300318637.html
SOURCE U.S. Baha’i Office of Public Affairs