28 March 2020 :
Yemen's Houthi rebels announced they had pardoned a minority Baha’i sentenced to death over his religion and ordered the release of more than 20 other members of the minority imprisoned in the capital Sanaa, local reports said on 25 March 2020.
The announcement came after the Baha'i International Community on 23 March denounced the upholding of the death sentence of Hamed bin Haydara, detained since 2013, despite international appeals.
It said it was "utterly dismayed at this outrageous verdict", reached at a 22 March hearing, which Haydara had not been allowed to attend.
But on 25 March, Mehdi al-Mashat, head of the Houthis' political wing, said in a statement tweeted by the Al-Masirah news channel: "We order the release of all Baha'i prisoners and announce the pardon and release of Hamed bin Haydara."
Rights groups have voiced alarm over the Houthi rebels’ treatment of Yemen's small Baha'i community.
Haydara has spent months in prison, where he suffered beatings and electric shocks, according to the community.
Houthi courts had started prosecution of more than 20 Baha'is and called for the dissolution of the faith's institutions in Yemen before the 25 March announcement. Several thousand Baha'is are estimated to live in Yemen.