NEW DELHI: A leader of the Houthis in Yemen has denounced the Baha'i faith, further intensifying the ongoing persecution of the community in that country, an organisation representing the Baha'is community in India has said.
Abdel-Malek al-Houthi, the leader of the Houthis (an Islamic religious political armed movement) in Yemen, gave a speech recently to rally Yemenis against foreign powers and ideologies, it claimed.
"Not only is the content of al-Houthi's speech deeply concerning, but also its context and some of its immediate consequences," said Bani Dugal, principal representative of the Baha'i international community to the United Nations.
Dugal said al-Houthi's has influence over a large number of armed followers and his latest speech is a call for mass atrocities against a religious minority which is genocidal in intent, according to a statement issued by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of India.
There are about two million followers of Baha'i faith in India.
"In order to avoid disastrous consequences for thousands of Yemeni Baha'is, the international community must condemn these latest actions by al-Houthi in the strongest terms, to demand an end to the spread of vitriolic, false rhetoric, and incitement to hatred against the Baha'is, and to call for the immediate release of all Baha'is imprisoned in Yemen, she said.
Human rights organisations and leaders around the world have condemned the actions of Houthi authorities.
"It is absolutely unfair to persecute innocent people without trial and adopting a judicial process. My sincere and strong appeal to all heads of countries to come forward and join hands to stop atrocities being done on innocent Baha'i community in Yemen," said Hasan Kamal Abidi, a prominent Shia of Lucknow.