Types of criminalisation

  • Criminalises sex between men
  • Criminalises sex between women
  • Death penalty
Penal Code 1994, Art. 264 Homosexuality

Article 264 criminalises the act of sodomy, whether conducted by men or by men and women, with a maximum punishment of 100 lashings or up to one year imprisonment if unmarried. Where the accused is married, a penalty of death by stoning can be imposed.1

Penal Code 1994, Article 268 Lesbianism

Article 268 criminalises sexual intercourse between women with a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment.2



The US Department of State Human Rights Report on Yemen states that there had been no known executions of LGBT persons in more than a decade.

Statements by Public Figures


Fouad al-Ghaffari, an aide to Yemen’s Minister of Human Rights, said the Ministry is not aware of any communication from international human rights groups regarding the criminalisation of homosexuality, although the Human Rights Committee has called on the state to decriminalise. He further stated: “We don’t have gays in Yemen,” reiterating the official position on the subject.

We don’t have gays in Yemen

Fouad al-Ghaffari, Aide to the Minister of Human Rights

Persecution and Discrimination


Reports suggest that several murders of gay men were committed in 2017. A Yemeni gay man interviewed in 2017 suggested that “fourteen gay men were murdered in Aden this past year alone”. He also claims that most of them were killed by Al Qaeda members.

The US Department of State Human Rights Report for 2017 states that the government blocked access to LGBT internet sites.


In August, suspected Al-Qaeda gunmen shot and killed five men in Huta, Yemen, on suspicion that they were gay.

Legislative News


During Yemen’s 2014 UPR cycle there were no recommendations made pertaining to the criminalisation of homosexuality. The country did state that the death penalty was only imposed for the most serious crimes, in accordance with international law.

1. Penal Code 1994, Art. 264 Homosexuality

“Homosexuality is the contact of one man to another through his posterior; both sodomites whether males or females are punished with whipping of one hundred strokes if not married. It is admissible to reprimand it by imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year punishment by stoning to death if married.” Full text.

2. Penal Code 1994, Art. 268 Lesbianism

“Lesbianism is intercourse between one female and another. Anyone engaged in this act with another shall be punished with imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years. If the act happens under coercion imprisonment may be expanded to seven years.” Full text.

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