Skip to content

Yemen: UN Experts Reiterate Call for Release of Detained Bahá’ís

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Press release

Geneva – May 26, 2024

UN experts today called for the urgent release of five Bahá’ís who remain detained one year after their abduction by de facto authorities in Yemen. In a statement, they expressed grave concern over the ongoing detention and the conditions these individuals face.

“May 25, 2024, marks the one-year anniversary of the raid and abduction of 17 Bahá’ís by the Houthi militia in Sana’a. While twelve individuals have been released under very strict conditions, five remain in detention under difficult circumstances. We urge the de facto authorities to release these five individuals immediately and refrain from any further action that may jeopardize their

physical and psychological integrity. The longer they remain in detention, the more dire the situation becomes, and we are concerned that they continue to be at serious risk of torture and other human rights violations, including acts tantamount to enforced disappearance.”

The experts highlighted that the twelve released Bahá’ís were forced to sign pledges restricting their communication with other Bahá’ís, prohibiting them from engaging in any Bahá’í activities, and preventing them from leaving their hometowns without permission. Some have also faced severe pressure to recant their religious beliefs. The experts called on the de facto authorities to restore these individuals’ freedom of religion or belief and their freedom of movement immediately.

For several years, UN experts have raised concerns about patterns of violations depicting targeted persecution of religious minorities in areas controlled by the Ansar Allah movement, also known as the Houthis. Bahá’ís and members of other religious minorities have faced detention, torture, acts tantamount to enforced disappearance, and ill-treatment by the de facto authorities, violating their rights to freedom of expression, opinion, peaceful assembly, and association. Some individuals were sentenced to death for professing their religion in judicial proceedings that failed to meet fair trial guarantees.

The experts further noted that these violations are exacerbated by hate speech, including statements by the Houthi Grand Mufti of Sana’a, which may amount to incitement to hatred, hostility, and discrimination based on religion or belief. They stressed that hate speech and incitement against religious minorities are particularly concerning during ongoing peace negotiations, as such expressions threaten the life and integrity of the entire Bahá’í community and other religious minorities in Yemen.

The UN experts’ statement underscores the urgent need for the de facto authorities in Yemen to halt persecution based on religious beliefs and to ensure the protection and freedom of all religious minorities in the country.

For more information and media requests or inquiries, please get in touch with us (+41229403538 /

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Be the first to get our latest Publication