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Official: Yemen Detains 9 People for Converting to Christianity

ICC Note

In July 2008, we reported about the imprisonment of seven Yemeni Christian converts from Islam by Yemeni authorities. Yemeni officials admitted that nine Christians were imprisoned between May and early August.

08/19/2008 Yemen (Fox News)-Yemeni police have detained at least nine people this year for converting from Islam to Christianity, a security official said Tuesday.

The nine were arrested between May and early August and remain in police custody, said the official.

Converting from Islam to any other religion is illegal in Yemen and can be punishable by death. But in previous cases, those arrested are usually released after they revoke their new faith and pledge to return to Islam.

Three of the nine were detained in west of the capital, San’a, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. He declined to provide details about the others.

A family member of one of the detained said he fears those arrested could face torture or abuse in prison. The family member, who declined to be named because of security concerns, said Hani el-Dahayni, 30, was detained in May after police stormed his office and confiscated computers and compact discs.

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