Skip to comments.Kissing UK couple lose Dubai jail appeal
Posted on 04/05/2010 5:55:55 AM PDT by myknowledge
Dubai's appeals court has upheld a one-month prison sentence against a British couple for kissing in public in the Muslim emirate, their lawyer said.
"The court has upheld the verdict of the court of first instance," the lawyer, Khalaf al-Hosani, told AFP.
The Britons had been on bail since their arrest in November last year, when an Emirati woman accused them of kissing in a restaurant in the trendy Jumeirah Beach Residence neighbourhood.
The pair have been named in the British press as Ayman Najafi, 24, a British expat, and tourist Charlotte Adams, 25, whose surname was previously reported as Lewis.
They said they only kissed on the cheek, but pleaded guilty to charges of consuming alcohol.
The two are entitled to challenge the sentence in the cassation court, the highest court which can review cases in the United Arab Emirates, a Gulf state made up of seven members including Dubai.
They were convicted in January and sentenced to one month in prison, but were released on bail with their passports held by the authorities, Hosani said.
The lawyer said he would discuss with the defendants whether they wish to take the case to the cassation court, but he said "the hope is dim" of overturning the verdict.
Hosani had told court last month that the only witness, a 38-year-old Emirati woman, had presented different statements.
"She told the police that she saw them kissing, while she told the prosecution that her children saw them," he said, adding the defence is arguing that the couple only kissed on the cheek "as a greeting" which is allowed.
Dubai, which despite its pro-Western outlook still adheres to certain strict Islamic rules and bans sex out of wedlock, is a popular destination for British tourists.
Around 1.1 million Britons visited the United Arab Emirates in 2009, and more than 100,000 British nationals live in the country.
In 2008, a British couple, Vince Acors and Michelle Palmer, were convicted of having sex on the beach in Dubai but an appeals court suspended their three-month jail term.
Acors and Palmer, both their thirties, were expelled from the Gulf Arab country, however, and fined 1,000 dirhams ($A294) for drinking alcohol.
A mother-of-two and her alleged lover, a fellow Briton, were convicted of adultery and jailed for two months in June 2009 after her estranged British husband tipped off police who caught the couple leaving a Dubai hotel at 2:30am.
The British Foreign Office warns Britons travelling to the UAE that the Muslim country has strict rules on public displays of affection and points out women should dress modestly in public.
"Proportionally, Britons are most likely to be arrested in the UAE than any other country in the world," says the travel advice, also highlighting the UAE authorities' zero tolerance of possession of drugs.
I think no Westerner ought to travel there, let alone for a holiday destination.
Don't be fooled by its glitzy environment, Sharia law permeates the UAE legal system.
“What a ‘hellhole’ Dubai is.”
You took the words out of my mouth.
I was going to post:
Why would anyone want to go to such a hellhole?
Stupid American pigs! Think they can travel the globe and behave any old way they want to wherever they happen to be!
Oh, wait... *WINK*
Really stupid of them. Was their next stop India for some ‘Holy Cow’ burgers? ;)
whatever happened to “when in Rome...”?
It did not know alcohol was illegal. Why would anyone want to go on holiday there?
Can't you just picture the Hollywood babes lying around the swimming pools and beaches in their burqas!
And the Hollywood moguls sipping lemonade at their cocktail parties!
And Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, and Diane Feinstein showing up in Washington with only their eyes peering out of their full-body black coverings--accompanied always by close-male-relative chaperones! That is IF they are allowed to show up at all!
Talk about pornography as free-speech in Hollywood's movies-- JAIL for kissing on the cheek! WORSE for anything else!
I’ve been there many times on business and plan on going again next week. How can you call an Islamic country where you can eat pork and wash it down with your favorite alchoholic libation, legally, a “hellhole”? There are rules and laws everywhere you travel. A prudent person can either learn how to behave in society or stay home. I think that in most countries, including the USA, if you are having drunk, naked sex on a public beach and a police officer tells you to stop, you’d be well advised to stop.
I dislike the entire idea of Sharia law as much as any Freeper here. When I am forced to deal with it in a place where the people that enforce it have guns and I do not, I try to have the good manners not to annoy those people. Drunken, British tourists apparently follow a different set of rules resulting in unfavorable outcomes.
I my friends Mr. Smith & Mr. Wesson can’t come—I won’t go either.