An organisation representing the Bahai community in India has urged the Union government to intervene after, it said today, a court in Yemen sentenced to death a member of the religious minority because of his faith. There are about two million followers of Bahai faith in India. The body - The Bahais of India - condemned the death penalty given to Hamed bin Haydara, a Bahai living in Yemen, according to a statement issued by its National Spiritual Assembly. Haydara was arbitrarily arrested at his workplace in December 2013, and was given the death sentence on January 2 this year, it said adding the verdict requires the execution, the date of which is not yet known, be carried out in public. Haydara was taken into custody in Yemeni capital Sana'a. Over several months, he was subjected to torture, forced to sign papers blindfolded and denied visitors, including his wife and daughters, according to the statement. An appeal has been made to the Indian government to urge Yemeni authorities to repeal the court sentence and release all Bahai prisoners, it said. Nilakshi Rajkhowa, Director of the Bahai Office of Public Affairs of the assembly, said the Indian Bahai community is deeply saddened by this news. "We call upon the non-governmental organisations and people of good conscience in India to raise their voices in support of Haydara and all Bahai prisoners in Yemen," she said. "The various forms of persecution experienced by Yemeni Bahais bear a striking resemblance to what the Bahais of Iran have experienced in their country, such as the baseless accusation, used when Bahais are arrested, that they are somehow a threat to national security and are spies of Israel," the organisation added.
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