4 Apr 2010

Appeal fails.. jail for Dubai kissing couple!

We’ve had some really good debates out there at Jumbie’s Watch on the interface between law and culture. In particular I recall ‘A signal to battle?’ – where we explored the Burkha (burqa, or burka if you please) and related issues.

However today I report on the case of the couple who were locked up for kissing in public in Dubai. In essence they were seen ‘kissing’ by a 38 year old macovacious uhman, who reported the matter. This swiftly led to arrests, convictions and prisons sentences of one month. The couple were reportedly seen kissing on the lips. Their defence was that the woman who made the complaint to local authorities, actually did not see anything - that it was her 2 year old child who saw them kissing ‘on the cheek’ and misreported it to her mother. The 38-year-old Emirati woman who was at the same restaurant had originally told local police that she saw Adams and Najafi kissing, however her statement for the prosecution said only that her children had seen them kissing.

See BBC News 2010-04-04Dubai kissing couple loses appeal. Times 2010-04-04: Dubai kissing couple appeal rejected.

The trial and appeal were reportedly conducted in a foreign language. The pair were also fined £180 each after admitting to be drunk in public.

In that part of the world you can get locked up for sending sexy text messages, making rude gestures, or having a shag on the beach. Well the shagging in public places is also illegal in most countries.

The Dubai case is important not merely in relation to the process and integrity of justice in foreign lands, but about how cultural and religious principles of morality shape and apply the law. We in our ‘western worlds’ may see nothing wrong with (in public) kissing, drinking alcohol, or showing a bit o’ flesh – after all we have we ‘carnaval’!! Ah mean carnaval widout all dee latter (and ah mean all manner of debauched conduct, not jes kissing) is no carnaval – right!? Buh go dong tuh Dubai nah, and behave like you own dee place and yuh will get yuh ass lock up pronto pronto!! As I see more of the world, I’m leaning to the Dubai way, oui!