SANAA, Yemen – A rebel-controlled Yemeni court has sentenced a local Baha'i man to death on charges of disseminating the beliefs of his faith and spying for Israel.
Hamid bin Haydara, detained since December 2013, received his sentence Tuesday. It was condemned by local and international rights groups, including Amnesty International, which slammed it as "cruel" and "degrading." It also called on Yemeni authorities to "immediately quash" the sentence.
The Iranian-backed Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, seized the capital Sanaa in 2014. They have been at war with a Saudi-led coalition backing an internationally recognized government since March 2015.
The Baha'i faith originated in Iran in 1844 but is currently banned there. Israel is home to some of its holy sites and administrative bodies.