At-Tagammu, a Yemeni newspaper published by the Yemeni Unitary Congregation party, recently reported on the threats facing Yemen’s small Baha’i community following the arrest of 6 Baha’is in June. The newspaper highlighted the propagandist attempts inciting hatred against the community and accused extremist fundamentalists for the oppression. Below is our translation of the article.

After Yemen’s security authorities informed several Baha’i families that their breadwinners will be deported, the lives of 250 Baha’is in Yemen has been fraught with the risks of deportation, exclusion and cancellation, to a level that makes the country the scene of a major case of religious persecution.

That is attested by the determination of the governmental and security authorities to deport four Baha’is, one of whom is an Iraqi, to Iran. At-Tagammu” newspaper has previously discussed the campaign of arrests against a group of Iranians as well as a few Yemenis and Iraqis on the 20th of June. At the time, it was said the campaign targeted elements associated with the Houthi rebellion and Iranian and Israeli intelligence services. The newspaper later learned that those targeted were six families who adhere to the Baha’i Faith. The newspaper had clarified that some of the targeted Iranians and spent over 25 years in Yemen, after escaping the persecution and prosecution of the Iranian authorities following the Islamic Revolution, as their faith was regarded as a heresy against the Shiite doctrine.

“At-Tagammu” learned that the detained Baha’is face the risk of an impending deportation, and the detainees’ wives were informed of that on Wednesday, after they were finally able to visit their husbands in prison.

It should be noted that all four are owners of successful businesses and have settled down in Yemen since the early 1980s. The wives and children of those threatened with deportation reserved from speaking to Yemeni media outlets and human rights organisations, fearing that their communication with journalists and human and civil rights activists would cause harmful consequences and chose to remain silent on their suffering, pain and losses that, despite the raids and looting of their possessions. It’s now been revealed that the families are far from being safe and the aggression against them is fierce. The propaganda campaigns targeting them have been brutal and it was repeated in several local news outlets and websites that the Baha’is came to Yemen during the period of British colonialism and that they receive instructions from Israel and are in fact more dangerous than Jews.

The “Human Dialogue Association” claimed that Baha’is are more dangerous than all spies and foreign agents, and quoted a group that was formerly associated with the Baha’is alleging that it has repented and submitted important documents to Sheikh Abdullah bin Hussein Al Ahmar and Sheikh Abdul Majid Al Zindani. Sources from within the group (observers do not rule out the possibility of its inclusion of military officers affiliated with the Yemeni intelligence) alleged that they came to possess thousands of documents belonging to the Baha’i World Center and the names of members of the Baha’i Faith in Yemen until the year 1996.

Observers have stated their belief that some Yemeni “informants” associated with extremist Islamist groups infiltrated Baha’i groups in Yemen and acquired memos, books and documents and monitored their movements within Yemen. The informants concluded that Baha’is “are familiar with everything related to psychology and undergo vigorous mental and psychological training that mirrors what spies are subjected to”. Further, the infiltrators raised reports stating that:

  • Baha’is actively promote the state of Israel using effective methods of advocacy
  • Baha’is attempt to convince others that Jerusalem must remain the capital of the state of Israel, in reciprocation for its allowing them to construct their World Center in Mount Carmel, Acre
  • The Baha’i faith is more dangerous than Jews and colonialism, and “even Jews fear the Baha’is”
  • The Yemeni people and government were caught unaware as they hosted their enemies while “unwary and sleeping”
  • More than 25% of reports distorting the image of Yemen politically, socially, religiously and economically that are sent to international organisations are from the Baha’is of Yemen
  • Baha’i immigrants are more dangerous to Islam than foreign spies and agents

There is no room for an extensive report on the content of the intelligence reports on the Baha’is, but it should be noted that the group that reached these conclusions after 10 years of close contact with the Baha’is, made sure it delivered all its documents to Sheikh Abdullah bin Hussein Al Ahmar and Sheikh Abdul Majid Al Zindani, pointing out it did so to:

  • Relieve their conscience
  • Escape legal accountability
  • Ensure the documents don’t fall into the hands of future generations and to prevent their turning into disbelieving Baha’is