Yemen Detains Nine Ex-Muslims For Converting To Christianity

Monday, August 25, 2008

By BosNewsLife News Center

SANAA, YEMEN (BosNewsLife) -- At least some nine Christian converts remained detained in Yemen Friday, August 22, amid international concerns they may be tortured or even killed because of their decision to abandon Islam.

Yemeni authorities have reportedly admitted they detained the former Muslims between May and August this year. US-based International Christian Concern (ICC), a major human rights group, said it received the names of several detainees, but added it could not publicly identify them due to safety concerns.

"Our sources indicated that the Christians were detained by the Political Security Office (PSO), which is headed by Colonel Ghaleb Al Qamish," said ICC, with Website

It said the PSO is "infamous for carrying out extrajudicial killings, torture and other forms of egregious human rights violations with impunity." ICC told BosNewsLife that the imprisoned Christians are "also feared to be experiencing torture and even facing death."

ICC President Jeff King said, "The detention of the Yemeni Christians not only violates their human rights, but also exposes them for further human rights violations," in the country.

He said his organization has urged the authorities to respect religious freedom and that his group had called its supporters to "pray for their safety and release from detention." ICC also launched a petition addressed to the Yemeni embassy in the United States, demanding the release of the Christians.

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