Blasphemy is punishable by deathThe constitution of Yemen declares Islam the state religion, and that Islamic law is the source of all legislation. The “blasphemy” laws prohibit “ridicule” of religion and apostasy—which includes “denouncing Islam”, and for which a blasphemy conviction may constitute as evidence—is punishable with death.

Article 194 of the penal code states:

“It is punishable by imprisonment not exceeding 3 years, and a fine, whoever:

1. Publicly broadcasts [or communicates] views including ridicule and contempt of religion, in its beliefs, practices, or teachings.

2. Whoever publicly incites contempt for people or communities, thus disturbing public peace.”

Denouncing Islam or converting from Islam to another religion is considered apostasy, which is a capital offence. The government does not enforce the death penalty for apostasy in practice: the law allows those charged with apostasy three opportunities to repent, which absolves them from the death penalty.