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July 8, 2021 3:57 pm
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Senior Rabbi in United Arab Emirates Denounces Continuing Imprisonment of Yemeni Jew as ‘Crime Against Humanity’

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

The senior rabbi in the United Arab Emirates has called for the immediate release of Levi Salem Marhabi, one of a handful of remaining Jews in Yemen who has been incarcerated by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels since 2018.

“Levi has been suffering in the Houthi prison despite a court ruling ordering his release, just like the three Muslims who were imprisoned with him, yet only he remains imprisoned, because of his religion,” Elie Abadie, the UAE’s senior rabbi in residence, told the Gulf Arab newspaper The National on Wednesday.

Four years ago, Marhabi was convicted of assisting a group of fellow Jews who made aliyah to Israel in 2016 to leave the country with a rare deerskin Sefer Torah in their possession, which the Iranian-backed Houthis deemed to be a stolen “national treasure.”

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Rabbi Abadie disclosed that Marhabi had been suffering from “many health problems and he has lost his teeth due to the brutal torture he has been exposed to.”

Abadie added that “Levi has been suffering in prison for more than five years for no violation of any law except the fulfillment of his religious Jewish duties.” He called on the Houthi authorities “to respect religious freedom, stop oppressing Yemen’s Jewish population, and immediately release Levi Salem Musa Marhabi.”

He also emphasized as well that “what the Houthis are doing to Mr Marhabi and the rest of Yemen’s Jewish community is a crime against humanity.”

The US government expressed concern over Marhabi’s plight last month, when it reiterated the statement issued by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Nov. 2020 calling for his release.

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