Thursday, August 28, 2008

Let Freedom Ring...In Yemen

Seems Yemen is the latest Middle Eastern nation to get into the game of bugging Baha'is simply because they are Baha'is. This is the latest from Barnabas:

Yemen Baha’is face deportation to Iran

Three Bahá’ís in Yemen are under imminent threat of deportation to Iran, according to this story from the Bahá’í World News Service and this AP story on the Jerusalem Post website. If they are sent to Iran they may well face imprisonment or torture.

According to the Bahá’í World News Service:

The three Baha’is were arrested in June, apparently in relation to their belief in and practice of the Baha’i Faith, along with a Baha’i of Iraqi origin.

The three Baha’is of Iranian origin who were arrested are Mr. Zia’u'llah Pourahmari, Mr. Keyvan Qadari, and Mr. Behrooz Rohani. A fourth Baha’i, Mr. Sayfi Ibrahim Sayfi, was also arrested and faces the possibility of deportation to Iraq.

The three Baha’is of Iranian background all have successful businesses in Yemen, and their families are well established there.

Bahá’í communities around the world are concerned for the safety of these Bahá’ís and the Bahá’í International Community is working through diplomatic channels to ensure their release.

Bani Dugal, the Bahá’í International Community’s principal UN representative, said:

“Our hope has been to prevent this case from becoming a major human rights matter, over the issue of religious persecution. Deportation to Iran would certainly be a matter for international concern, and such an action would be out of character with the Yemeni government’s past record on human rights issues.

“Under international laws on the freedom of religion, there is no question that Baha’is – and others in Yemen – should be free to practice their faith. While the situation is still unfolding, we stand by the right of Baha’is in Yemen and elsewhere to practice their religion in all aspects, without the fear of being forced to leave their adopted country,”