The 50-year-old priest has been imprisoned by the group’s intelligence services for four years, as part of a campaign of arrests launched by the group against the estimated 2,000 Christians in the territory it controls.
The presence of Yemen’s ancient Jewish community is all but over, with the Houthis’ insistence on deporting the last two families left in Sana’a. The militia has also deported the leaders of the Baha’i sect, while continuing to prosecute 19 members, despite its claim last year that it would pardon them after four years of detentions.
Khalidi’s family have avoided talking about his imprisonment for fear of repercussions against him, but one former prisoner, recently released from a Houthi jail, told Asharq Al-Awsat that he met Khalidi and others in detention, and said that the priest was arrested after the militia took control of Sana’a, saying His jailers kept him in solitary confinement for weeks at a time. He added that other Christian prisoners had been forced to recant their religious beliefs under torture.