Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Baha’i Man Sentenced to Public Execution in Yemen. His Crime? Practicing His Faith

Baha’i Man Sentenced to Public Execution in Yemen. His Crime? Practicing His Faith


Tortured, and denied a fair trial, Hamed Haydara landed on death row.

Hamed Haydara wasn't even allowed to attend his own sentencing. Credit: Mwatana for Human Rights
Hamed Haydara wasn’t even allowed to attend his own sentencing. Credit: Mwatana for Human Rights
In December 2013, Hamed Kamal Muhammad bin Haydara disappeared into the maze that is Yemen’s National Security Bureau (NSB). Over the course of four years, he was tortured and denied a fair trial. His wife and daughters were not allowed to visit, nor did he get to meet legal counsel. Finally, on January 2, 2018, Haydara, was sentenced to public execution by the specialised criminal court in Yemen’s capital Sana’a. He wasn’t even present in court.
One of around 2,000 Baha’is in Yemen, he was picked up for something one would take for granted in a secular country: practicing his faith.
The Baha’i faith, founded in Iran in the 1800s, essentially believes in the oneness of humanity and the unity of all religions. Incidentally, the Lotus Temple, a landmark in New Delhi, is a Baha’i house of worship.
Though no date has been given so far for when the execution will take place, the verdict also asks that all Baha’i spiritual assemblies, the governing bodies for Baha’is, be disbanded.
In Yemen, an Islamic society, the constitution does not recognise any other religion barring Judaism. This is why the trumped up charges against Haydara are, in most part, for “insulting Islam”, “apostasy” and urging Muslims to “embrace the Baha’i religion”.
As an official from the ministry of justice toldRudaw, “The Baha’i faith is not recognised in the constitution, the tradition or by Islam. Therefore, it is a forbidden religion. If a Yemeni renounces his religion and declares himself a Baha’i, this is a crime to be tried at court.”
The authorities in this case, or rather the Iranian-backed Shiite rebels known as Houthis who seized the capital in 2014, have also alleged that Haydara is a spy for Israel and an Iranian citizen who crossed into Yemen in 1991 using a false name.
This accusation has been refuted time and again by his wife, Elham Muhammad Hossain Zara’i, during her long fight for justice, but her appeals to have her husband freed have fallen on deaf years. More so, she has submitted documentation, which shows that he was born in Yemen in 1964.
The sentence has been met with protests by international human rights groups. Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa research and advocacy director, said:
“The Houthi authorities must immediately quash the death sentence against Hamid Haydara. He is a prisoner of conscience who has been tried on account of his conscientiously held beliefs and peaceful activities as a member of the Baha’i community. This sentence is the result of a fundamentally flawed process, including trumped up charges, an unfair trial and credible allegations that Hamid Haydara was tortured and ill-treated in custody. It is also part of a wider crackdown on critics, journalists, human rights defenders and members of the Baha’i community that is causing entire families to live in fear for their safety and the safety of their loved ones.”
On January 11, UK’s minister of state at the foreign office Alan Duncan responded to a question about the death sentence in the House of Commons. Duncan said that though Haydara isn’t a British citizen, the “indignation at what is happening and our wish to try to defend his interests and see him released” would not be diminished.
He highlighted how the United Nations Human Rights Council had in a resolution in September 2017 called for the immediate release of all Baha’is in Yemen imprisoned for their religious beliefs. As of now, five other Baha’is are in detention.
War-torn Yemen
In recent years, the war in Yemen between the Houthis and the Saudi Arabia-backed government has torn the country apart. With a collapsed economy, a whole people have been caught in a cycle of sectarian violence. Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, the president, has moved his capital to Aden, the southern port that is now controlled by Saudi soldiers.
The war has reached levels of violence not seen in the peninsula for years with civilians caught in the middle. Every week, news of civilians losing their lives in raids and airstrikes makes it to the news. War lords have set up shop, collecting taxes and meting out justice as they see fit. Hunger has made itself home in the bellies of millions as supplies thin out.
In the middle of this sectarian conflict, the Yemeni Baha’i community is being increasingly persecuted. But despite this, as Middle East Eye reported, a few citizens, “disgruntled and frustrated with imams who incite Muslims to kill each other”, have started to turn to the Baha’i faith.
“Numerous reports clearly point to the insidious involvement of the Iranian authorities in Yemen’s persecution of the Baha’i community,” said Bani Dugal, Representative of the Baha’i International Community United Nations Office in New York.
According to the national spiritual assembly of the Baha’is of India in India:
“The various forms of persecution experienced by Yemeni Baha’is bear a striking resemblance to what the Baha’is of Iran have experienced in their country, such as the baseless accusation, used when Baha’is are arrested, that they are somehow a threat to national security and are spies of Israel. Furthermore, the authorities in both Iran and in Sana’a, Yemen are explicitly targeting the leadership of the Bahá’í community.”
Inception 
Iran, which is backing the Houthis and supplying them weapons, has a history of repressing its Baha’i community, the country’s largest non-Muslim minority – numbering just over 300,000. In fact, the regime has shown the community no mercy and has oppressed them economically and even denied them an education in many cases. Students have been arbitrarily expelled from universities simply because of their faith, hundreds of Baha’i-owned businesses have been forced to pull down their shutters. According to present estimates, 80-100 Baha’is are in prison solely because of their religious beliefs.
In June 1983, ten women and girls were hanged in Shiraz for refusing to give up their faith. Three days earlier, the authorities had executed their husbands, sons and fathers. Over the years, many members of the Baha’i spiritual assemblies have been rounded up and imprisoned or summarily executed.
On August 7, 2010, seven members of the Yaran, the leaders of the Baha’i spiritual assemblies in Iran, were sentenced to 20 years each in prison on fictitious charges which included espionage, propaganda activities, against the Islamic order and spreading “corruption on Earth”.
The seven members of the Yaran, of which two have now been freed. Credit: Bahá'í World News Service
The seven members of the Yaran who were sentenced to 20 years jail time. Two have now been freed. Credit: Baha’i World News Service
Searching for peace
The brutalities, social exclusion and harassment do not stem from contemporary prejudices alone. Ever since the Baha’i religion began in mid-nineteenth century in Iran, it has found itself smack at the centre of severe malevolence.
One of the founders of the faith, known to his followers as the Bab, was executed by a firing squad in 1850 at the age of 30. Over 2,000 of his early believers were massacred.
The cruelty towards the Baha’is has never abated since then. They’ve been targeted for being “heretics”, “enemies of Islam”, and “a depraved sect”, and subjected to waves upon waves of attacks.
According to Cultural Survival, “The mainspring of the hostility to the Baha’i minority has been the Islamic clergy’s rejection of the idea that there could be a revelation from God after that of Muhammad, who is regarded by them as ‘the last of the Prophets’. This theological objection is immeasurably strengthened by ecclesiastical fear of the Baha’i social teachings. Essentially, the new faith teaches that humanity has entered the age of its unification, and that the principal concern of religion must be to establish unity and overcome differences of race, creed, language and nation.”
Peace, altruism and humanity may be central to the Baha’is, but the Baha’is have faced anything but. 

Entitled to violence....Is this a hate crime?

High school bully, 16, 'stabs and kills girl, 16, she tormented after the victim tried to fight back with pepper spray during an argument at a Dunkin' Donuts'

Valaree Megan Schwab, 16, died in hospital last Wednesday after the attack 

  • She was stabbed twice in the torso, allegedly by classmate Z'Inah Brown, 16
  • Police say Z'Inah used a steak knife to carry out the attack outside a Dunkin' Donuts near their school in New Rochelle, New York
  • Other students later claimed Valaree was being bullied and was trying to fight back
  • Z'Inah was arraigned on a second degree murder charge last Thursday 
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A bullied teenager has been stabbed to death at a Dunkin' Donuts after standing up to her tormentors by pepper spraying them. 
Valaree Megan Schwab, 16, died in hospital after being attacked which occurred at 12.30pm in New Rochelle, New York, on January 10. 
Z'Inah Brown, 16, has been arrested for her death. She allegedly used a steak knife to stab Valaree twice in the upper torso.  
Students at the pair's high school told ABC News Schwab was being bullied by Brown and others at the Dunkin' Donuts.
There were five or six teenagers in the group that ganged up on Valaree which included both boys and girls, police said. 
Schwab tried to fight them off with pepper spray after being harassed by them on the 10-minute walk down which ended at the Dunkin' Donuts.
Valaree Megan Schwab, 16,  died in hospital after being stabbed twice in the torso last Wednesday
Valaree Megan Schwab, 16, died in hospital after being stabbed twice in the torso last Wednesday
None of the other teenagers present have been identified. It is not clear how long they had allegedly been bullying Valaree.  
After the attack, Z'Inah fled the scene, leaving Valaree behind.  
Police have arrested 16-year-old Z'Inah Brown for her death
Police have arrested 16-year-old Z'Inah Brown for her death
She was taken to hospital in the Bronx but was later pronounced dead.  
Classmates have since described Valaree as a 'unique' student who 'spoke her mind'. 
In her obituary, she was described as a keen musician with a passion for the guitar.
She filmed YouTube videos about causes she believed in, including one in which she slammed Donald Trump and called his presidency 'tyranny'. 
Brown was charged with second degree murder after turning herself in a day after the attack last week.
Her mother was in court for her arraignment last week but gave no comment as she left.  
School staff say they are 'saddened' by the teenager's death.  
In a statement last week, they said Valaree was not in classes on the day of the attack. 
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The two girls were arguing outside this Dunkin' Donuts near their high school in New Rochelle, New York, when Valaree pepper sprayed Brown, allegedly prompting her to pull out a steak knife and stab her twice
The two girls were arguing outside this Dunkin' Donuts near their high school in New Rochelle, New York, when Valaree pepper sprayed Brown, allegedly prompting her to pull out a steak knife and stab her twice
Valaree was described as a 'unique' girl who loved playing the guitar and who 'spoke her mind'
Valaree was described as a 'unique' girl who loved playing the guitar and who 'spoke her mind'
Police appealed for Brown after the attack last week. She handed herself in and was arrested on suspicion of second degree murder 
Police appealed for Brown after the attack last week. She handed herself in and was arrested on suspicion of second degree murder 
'The City School District of New Rochelle is saddened by the incident on North Avenue today in which a New Rochelle High School student was stabbed. 
'The student was not in school today and the incident did not happen on school grounds. 
'New Rochelle High School and School District officials are cooperating fully with the New Rochelle Police Department in this matter. 
'The High School and District will make counselors, social workers and other professionals available for students and staff who require assistance for as long as is necessary.
'All other information about the incident should come from the New Rochelle Police Department,' they said. 
A representative for the school district did not respond to questions about Valaree's death on Tuesday. 
It is not known if the bullying was ever reported to staff. Valaree's grieving family has not commented on her death.
Valaree was not in school on the day of the attack, according to officials
Valaree was not in school on the day of the attack, according to officials
Valaree was not in school on the day of the attack, according to officials 
Valaree (seen above with loved ones in a photograph which accompanied her obituary) was trying to fight off her attackers when she died 
Valaree (seen above with loved ones in a photograph which accompanied her obituary) was trying to fight off her attackers when she died 

What Trump and Rand Paul did for Haiti. far more then the Clinton's self enrichment.

Sen. Rand Paul: President Trump Cares ‘Deeply’ About Haiti, Financed Medical Mission Trip

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday that charges of bigotry against President Donald Trump remain unfounded because the president previously financed a 2014 medical mission to Haiti.

Paul said on Meet the Press, “I think it’s unfair to sort of paint him, ‘oh well, he’s a racist,’ when I know for a fact that he cares very deeply about the people of Haiti because he helped finance a trip where they would get vision back for 200 people in Haiti.”
President Trump stoked controversy recently as he reportedly called Haiti and other African countries “shithole countries.”
Trump allegedly said, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” The president reportedly then added that America should have more people from Norway and other similar countries come to the United States.
The 45th president repeatedly rebuked reporters on Sunday after they asked him if he was a bigot.
“No. I’m not a racist,” he replied. “I’m the least racist person you have ever interviewed. That I can tell you.”
Sen. Paul and a team of other doctors from the John A. Moran Eye Moran at the University of Utah performed over 100 surgeries over three days in Salama, Guatemala.
In Guatemala, Paul contrasted politics and medicine, saying, “It’s a lot different in the sense that here we see a problem and fix it.”
Reporters, including Breitbart News’s Matthew Boyle, as well as NBC’s Meet the Press, theWashington Post, and National Review attended the trip to Guatemala.
Breitbart News wrote from Antigua, Guatemala in August 2014, “Paul raised tens of thousands of dollars through various donors, including real estate magnate Donald Trump, to help cover the Moran Eye Center’s trip costs,” which included a $10,000 donation from Donald Trump.
Sen. Paul’s communications team confirmed to Breitbart News that Sen. Paul solicited a donation from Trump for the Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah to fund the trip to Haiti and Guatemala.
Sergio Gor, Paul’s communications director, told Breitbart News, “It wasn’t to Rand Paul foundation, it wasn’t to Rand Paul, it wasn’t to any of his victory committees—it was directly to University of Utah.”
“Well, of course,” Gor confirmed to Breitbart News when asked whether Sen. Paul helped solicit the donation. “It’s not a secret. And he [Paul] admires him [Trump] for it. But it has nothing to do with his political positions. His charity giving was honorable. No one questions that. In fact, it’s been under reported.”

Obama Lied and Argued Against Executive Amnesty, Then Lied and Said DACA Only Temporary, Now Lies and Calls Trump Racist for Scrapping DACA!

Obama Lied and Argued Against Executive Amnesty, Then Lied and Said DACA Only Temporary, Now Lies and Calls Trump Racist for Scrapping DACA!

Guest post by Joe Hoft

You just couldn’t trust a word Obama said!  Lying was his way of life.

As reported by Carter at TGP in September, Obama argued against Executive Amnesty at least 22 times –
But Obama lied.  He didn’t really believe what he was saying, he only hoped  Americans believed him.
A short time later, in June 2012,  Obama went on to push through his Executive Amnesty plan referred to as DACA.  During his announcement at the White HouseObama claimed that the law would be temporary –
Effective immediately the Department of Homeland Security is taking steps to lift the shadow of deportation from these young people.  Over the next few months, eligible people who do not present a risk to national security or public safety will be able to request temporary relief from deportation proceedings and apply for work authorizations.  Now let’s be clear, this is not amnesty.  This is not immunity.  This is not a path to citizenship.  This is not a permanent fix. This is a temporary stop-gap measure…”
But this too was a lie.  Obama never intended that his illegal amnesty for ‘dreamers’ referred to as DACA to be short term.
Then after the Democrats lost the election, President Trump announced an end the Obama-era program that grants work permits to illegal immigrants who arrived in this country illegally with their lawbreaking parents or guardians.
Obama responded by playing the race card. 

Obama – What a piece of work!