Dangerous Kisses in Dubai

 Kiss and tell and go to jail

21st August

Don't Kiss or Drink or Go to the UAE...

Europeans on trial for kissing and drinking

The defence lawyer for two Europeans who are accused of kissing in public and consuming alcohol told the court that his clients are not bound by the Sharia law that prohibits both offences.

IK, a Russian woman, is charged with consensual dishonour and pleaded guilty to kissing, at the first hearing last week at the Criminal Court of First Instance. The man she is accused of kissing, ZV, is facing adultery charges.

The two are among five people who are before the court facing charges of adultery, consumption of alcohol and drugs. The three men and two women have been denied bail and are awaiting a verdict in their case.

IK told the court last week that the kiss was a normal greeting kiss, but the judge responded by saying: Maybe it's normal in Russia.

The defence lawyer, Abdul Khader Ghazal said: My client is charged with consuming alcohol but there is no such a charge of consuming alcohol under the Sharia law. We can establish that he was not drunk. As he is not Muslim, he is further not subject to the same rules we are subject to. UAE law, however, prohibits residents from consuming alcohol, irrespective of religion or nationality, without a proper licence issued by each emirate's police authority.

Ghazal said there were no witnesses for the adultery charges. Unless both the accused plead guilty, Sharia law requires four Muslim witnesses to testify in court.

The case was postponed for the judicial panel to review the evidence submitted.


9th October

Update: Kiss and Get Flogged...

Give Abu Dhabi a wide berth

A Moroccan woman who was charged with having premarital sex with an Emirati man retracted her guilty plea after being told she would receive 100 lashes and a prison sentence.

The woman, identified as SM, and the man, KK, were charged with the same offence in the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance.

KK denied the charge and said a description of his home SM provided to prosecutors was flawed and therefore undermined the evidence against him.

Under Sharia law, a conviction for premarital sex that has been denied requires four reliable witnesses to testify to the offence. But in pleading guilty, SM automatically made herself eligible for the mandatory punishment for the crime of 100 lashes.

In Abu Dhabi, offenders may receive prison time in addition to lashes. After she entered her plea, Judge Syed Abdul Baseer explained the punishment and asked SM whether she wanted to reconsider. The punishment is lashing and jail, Judge Abdul Baseer told her. You have the right to deny.

SM then retracted her guilty plea. Judge Abdul Baseer said he would issue a verdict on October 11.


14th March

Update: Kiss and Go to Jail...

Give Dubai a wide berth

A British man is facing jail in Dubai after he was accused of kissing a woman in public.

Ayman Najafi is expected in court today alongside a 25-year-old female British tourist to appeal against a one-month prison sentence.

The pair were allegedly seen kissing on the mouth in a restaurant, breaching Dubai's nasty decency laws. They were arrested by police in November last year and appeared in court last week.

A judge at Dubai's Misdemeanours Court heard written evidence from a woman who initially snitched to police about the alleged incident. She said she was 'offended' by their behaviour at the Jumeirah Beach Residence, where she was dining with her daughter.

The judge dismissed Najafi's claim that he had merely kissed the woman on the cheek and sentenced both defendants to a month in jail followed by deportation. The Britons were bailed pending the appeal against a custodial punishment.

The Dubai authorities are holding their passports so that they cannot leave the country.


5th April

Update: Kissing Visitors Goodbye...

Dubai not a nice place to visit as couple seen kissing are jailed

A British couple jailed in Dubai for kissing in public have lost their appeal against their conviction.

Ayman Najafi and Charlotte Adams were sentenced to a month in prison with subsequent deportation and fined about £200 for drinking alcohol.

The couple were arrested in November after a vengeful local woman accused them of breaking the country's decency laws by kissing on the mouth in a restaurant.

The couple's defence lawyers said the woman - who did not appear in court - had not seen the kiss herself, but had been told by her two-year-old child that the girl had seen the couple kissing.

The pair said they would make a second appeal against the judge's decision. The couple decided not to start their sentence immediately, but the Dubai authorities are holding their passports so they are unable to return to Britain.

The BBC's Ben Thompson, at the court, said the judge spoke entirely in Arabic as he quickly dismissed the appeal, saying he upheld the previous sentence.

Professor John Strawson, an expert in Islamic law, told BBC Radio 5 Live he was not surprised by the judge's decision. He said: The problem in this particular case is that one of the British citizens is of Muslim origin.

And I think that the combination of the alleged kissing and the consumption of alcohol in an illegal place, meant that this was a case that the authorities really wanted to pursue, and they are probably sticking to their rigid interpretation of the law.


6th April

Update: A New Life Outside of Dubai...

Air Stewardess cannot return to Dubai home as she becomes unmarried mum

An air stewardess fears she can't return to Dubai where she lives because she has had a baby out of wedlock.

Irish Ex-pat Liz Curry has Alexandra during a 24-hour stopover in South Africa.

Dubai's strict Muslim laws mean Liz could now be sent to prison if she goes back to the country where she has lived for eight years.  The penalty for having sex outside marriage is at least three months in prison followed by deportation.

Liz said: I'm on unpaid leave at the moment but I can't go back to work in Dubai because of the law. I'm unmarried so if I'd had the baby in Dubai I would have been arrested and I can't take that risk.


11th May

Update: Dubai Needs to Evolve...

Woman jailed for kissing in public speaks out against 'decency' laws

A British woman jailed for kissing a man in public in Dubai has spoken of the hypocrisy of the Emirate's strict decency laws.

Charlotte Adams was arrested with Ayman Najafi last November after a local woman complained they had been seen kissing on the mouth in a restaurant.

Adams and Najafi insisted they had given each other only a peck on the cheek but were sentenced to a month in prison by a Dubai court last month.

Adams served 23 days and was freed on Friday and deported. Najafi, a management consultant from north London who has lived in Dubai for the past 18 months, is understood to be continuing his fight against the conviction after being backed by his employers.

I love (Dubai) and it makes me sad that I'll never come back, although I think I'd struggle to ever feel free here again. The laws need to evolve to match the culture here. At the moment, it's all just hypocrisy.

She said hotels in Dubai regularly offer free alcohol, particularly to women, though drinking in public is still officially illegal in the Gulf state: Everyone gets so drunk they forget where they are, particularly the westerners, which is when their behaviour can become dangerous legally.


17th May

Offsite: Sodom-sur-Mer...

Why Dubai's Islamic austerity is a sham, sex is for sale in every bar

While we talked, Jenny, from Minsk in Belarus, offered me everything, what you like, all night for the equivalent of about £500. It was better if I was staying in the luxurious hotel where we were drinking, she said, but if not she knew another one, cheaper but friendly . I turned down the offer.

This was not Amsterdam's red-light district or the Reeperbahn in Hamburg or a bar on Shanghai's Bund. This was in the city centre of Dubai, the Gulf emirate where western women get a month in prison for a peck on the cheek; the Islamic city on Muhammad's peninsula where the muezzin's call rings out five times a day drawing believers to prayer; where public consumption of alcohol prompts immediate arrest; where adultery is an imprisonable offence; and where mall shoppers are advised against overt displays of affection , such as kissing.

Ayman Najafi and Charlotte Adams, the couple recently banged up in Al Awir desert prison for a brief public snog, must have been very unlucky indeed, because in reality Dubai is a heaving maelstrom of sexual activity that would make the hair stand up on even the most worldly westerner's head. It is known by some residents as Sodom-sur-Mer .

...Read full article


17th November

Update: More Nastiness in UAE...

Couple flogged for illicit sex in Sharjah

A housemaid and her boyfriend will be lashed 100 times each, jailed and deported for committing adultery, according to a UAE court ruling.

The Sharjah Sharia Court ordered the lashing of N.M., a Filipina housemaid, 100 times and her deportation for unlawful sex. The court also sentenced her Bangladeshi boyfriend, S.M., to be lashed 100 times for adultery and jailed one year for entering the house of the sponsor without permission. S.M. will be deported after serving his sentence.

According to court papers, N.M. had sex with her boyfriend in her sponsor's house in Sharjah. N.M. brought her boyfriend to her sponsor's house each time the family was not at home, but according to police N.M.'s sponsor saw M.M. while leaving the house.

Police said that N.M.'s sponsor snitched to the police who arrested them both and they admitted to the crime. N.M. told police, the prosecutor and the court that she used to bring her boyfriend to the house whenever the family was out. N.M. and M.M. admitted having sex several times in the sponsor's house.

According to Sharia law if Muslims commit adultery they will be lashed and deported if they are expatriates. If non-Muslims commit adultery they will be jailed and deported.


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