Yemen has a land area of 555,000 square kilometers and a population of approximately 24 million (2010). Its capital and largest city is Sana’a. Yemen’s territory includes over 200 islands, the largest of which is Socotra, about 415 km to the south of mainland Yemen, off the coast of Somalia. It is the only state in the Arabian Peninsula to have a purely republican form of government.
Homosexuality is illegal and the official laws are severe. But there is an underground LGBT community which keeps silent and hidden, especially since February and March 2011: an uprising against the government began, and clashes with police and pro-government supporters have steadily intensified. Many people have been killed in trying to oust President Saleh from his 32-year rule.