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"Is not the object of every Revelation to effect a transformation in the whole character of mankind, a transformation that shall manifest itself, both outwardly and inwardly, that shall affect both its inner life and external conditions?"

~Bahá'u'lláh

Bahá’í World News Service
The Bahá’í World News Service reports on current Bahá’í activity around the world.

Youth Conferences

Message from The Universal House of Justice, the international governing council of the Baha’i’s,addressed to the 114 Youth Conferences throughout the World, dated 1 July 2013.

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The Baha'i House of Worship of India

The Baha'i House of Worship in New Delhi, which is considered as India’s symbol of communal harmony by the Government of India, was dedicated to the people of India and all humanity in December 1986.

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News

Yemeni Baha’i receives death sentence as persecution escalates

New Delhi (9 January 2018) –  On 2nd January 2018, the Specialized Criminal Court in Sana’a, Yemen issued a rulling unprecedented in the persecution of the Baha’is in Yemen.  Sentencing Mr. Hamed bin Haydara to death due to his religious beliefs, the Judge  furthermore  called for the dissolution of all Baha’i Assemblies, and thereby placing other Baha’i prisoners as well as the Baha’i community as a whole in imminent danger.

Mr. Haydara was arbitrarily arrested at his workplace on 3 December 2013 and was held in custody in Sana’a, Yemen, where over the course of several months, he was subjected to repeated torture, force to signs papers while blindfolded, and denied visitors, including his wife and daughters. Following his arrest, his home was also raided and his documents and computer were confiscated by the National Security Bureau.

 

Ms. Nilakshi Rajkhowa, Director, Baha’i Office of Public Affairs of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of India said that,  the Indjan Baha’i community is deeply saddened by this distressing news. The various forms of persecution experienced by Yemeni Baha’is bear a striking resemblance to what the Baha’is of Iran have experienced in their country, such as the baseless accusation, used when Baha’is are arrested, that they are somehow a threat to national security and are spies of Israel’.

An appeal has been made to the Government of India to urge the Yemeni authorities to repeal the court sentence of Mr. Haydara and release all Baha’i prisoners.

‘We call upon the non-governmental organisations and people of good conscience in India to raise their voices in support of Mr. Haydara and all Baha’i prisoners in Yemen’. she said.

Following a protracted court case and a cruel four-year imprisonment the final court hearing was held while the defendant, Mr. Haydara, was purposely prevented from attending.   During the hearing the local Judge, Mr. Abdu Ismail Hassan Rajeh, called for the execution of Mr. Haydara and the confiscation of all of his assets, on the pretext that  Mr. Haydara had been in communication with the Universal House of Justice, the highest governing body of the Baha’is which is located in Israel. The verdict requires that the execution, the date of which is unknown, be carried out in public. The verdict also asks for the disbanding of Baha’i Assemblies, which mirrors acts of persecution committed in Iran against the Baha’is in the 1980s. An appeal to the court decision was immediately issued by the defense lawyer.

His first court hearing was held on 18 January, over a year after he was arrested, and he was not allowed to be present. Furthermore, not until that time were yet baseless and nonsensical charges raised against him. Since then, over half of the nearly forty court hearings were cancelled under different pretenses, including the illness or explained absence of the Judge. Over the course of his four years of imprisonment. Mr. Haydara has been repeatedly denied treatment for medical conditions that developed as a result of the torture he experienced. It is worth noting that no substantive evidence was presented during any of these court proceedings, a fact that was pointed out several times in the final hearings to the procecution by the Judge himself. This acknowledgement of the lack of evidence was followed, strangely and unexpectedly, by the summary judgement on 2 January 2018 to execute Mr. Haydara.

Furthermore, the authorities in both Iran and in Sana’a, Yemen are explicitly targeting the leadership of the Bahá’í community.  The UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Ahmed Shaheed, has himself commented on the striking resemblance of the persecution of Bahá’ís Yemen to that against Bahá’ís in Iran.