United Arab Emirates

All citizens of UAE (as opposed to foreign residents, mainly working migrants) are deemed Muslims, and Islamic Shari’a is the main source of legislation for everyone. The blasphemy law is extremely broad, and apostasy is in principle punishable by death.

Article 312 of the penal code states:

“It is punishable by imprisonment and a fine — or one of these two punishments — whoever commits any of the following offences:

1. Abuse towards any of the rituals or practices of Islam.

2. Insult of any of the divine, recognized religions.

3. Condoning or encouraging sin, publicizing it, or acting in a way that tempts other to partake in it.

4. A Muslim who knowingly eats pork.

If any of these are committed publicly, the punishment is imprisonment for no less than one year, or a fine.”

All citizens of the UAE are deemed to be Muslims. Conversion to other religions (and by implication, advocacy of atheism) is forbidden and the legal punishment for conversion from Islam is death. Although in practice there have been no known prosecutions or legal punishments for apostasy in court.