Cairo: An international rights group has decried the prosecution of 24 Yemeni Bahais, including eight women and a teenager, by Al Houthi rebel court on espionage charges.

Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East director of research, said Tuesday the group fears the Bahais could receive the death penalty amid “flagrantly unfair proceedings.”

Iran banned the Baha’i religion, which was founded in 1844 by a Persian nobleman considered a prophet by followers.

The Iranian-backed Al Houthis have occupied northern Yemen since 2014, after which the legitimate government fled the country and sought military intervention by a Saudi Arabian-led coalition.

Al Houthi group’s leader has targeted Bahais in public speeches and several Bahais have been detained, tortured and held incommunicado. A top figure was sentenced to death over charges of collaboration with Israel.