The European Union welcomes the release of members of the Baha'i community by the movement Ansar Allah after their prolonged detention. One of those detained had been imprisoned since 2013 and was sentenced to death. The EU and its Member States have consistently advocated for the immediate release of all detained individuals.
The spread of coronavirus in Yemen and appalling conditions in detention facilities throughout the country made their release even more urgent. This gesture is a step in the right direction, contributing to building confidence and bringing the resumption of the peace process in Yemen closer. We commend the efforts of the UN, notably the UN Special Envoy to Yemen, in securing the release of the members of the Baha'i community, as well as the generous facilitation of the Ethiopian government.
Nobody should be persecuted on the basis of their belief or political affiliations. The EU recalls that freedom of thought, conscience and religion, are fundamental rights which must be guaranteed under all circumstances according to article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which Yemen has signed up to and ratified.
The EU calls on all parties to replicate such gestures throughout the whole country and put an end to the conflict by engaging with the efforts of the UN Special Envoy.