Criminal Penalties in Yemen

While traveling in Yemenor another country, all travelers are subject to its laws even if they are U.S. citizens. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. In Yemen, foreign travelers may be taken in for questioning if they don’t have their passport with them. It is also illegal to take pictures of military installations or troops. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can land the driver immediately in jail. The criminal penalties in Yemen may be very different from what U.S. citizens are accustomed to in the United States.

There are also some things that might be legal in a foreign country, but still illegal in the United States, and travelers can still be prosecuted under U.S. law. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If a U.S. citizen breaks local laws in Yemen, his/her U.S. passport won’t prevent arrest or prosecution. When traveling, it’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not in the foreign country.

Persons violating Yemeni laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Yemen are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. The use of the mild stimulant "qat” or “khat" is legal and common in Yemen, but it is considered an illegal substance in many other countries, including the United States. Do not attempt to bring qat back to the United States; the penalties for trafficking qat include heavy fines and possible imprisonment.

While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, the U.S. Embassy is rarely informed when U.S. citizens are arrested in Yemen.To ensure that the United States is aware of the arrest or detention, it is important to request that the police and prison officials notify the U.S. Embassy as soon as possible.

Disclaimer

You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.

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