04 April, 2010

British couple appeal rejected

The news has just hit the wires that the British couple accused of kissing at Bob's Easy Diner in JBR have had their appeal against the one month jail term rejected.

An Emirati woman claimed they were kissing intimately, they say they simply kissed on the cheek in a friendly greeting. The judge obviously did not believe them.

They have one more chance of appealing, to the Court of Cassation.

There are plenty of reports, the BBC story is here. (It has a mistake in it, relating to the other charge of consuming alcohol. They were not consuming alcohol in an illegal place as the report claims, they had consumed alcohol legally in licensed premises earlier).

25 comments:

B.D. said...

If I weren't already living here these continuous reports about people getting arrested and prosecuted for this and that kind of behavior would put me off to ever visiting much less coming to live here. Dubai is saying with one hand that this is a great place for anyone to visit and live and with the other, watch out or we'll get you!

It's a bit schizophrenic and quite counter to the progressive image one would think this city/country wants to give of itself. The practice of law and order here is starting to seem more arbitrary and vindictive.

Proud Emirati said...

I agree that applying the law is arbitrary thats why I urge the authorities to apply it to everyone everytime.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Proud Emirati,
It would be great to show people with filthy western practices what we think of them.

Just because you dont have any morals doesnt mean we dont. Your countries have become hotspots for moral decadence and now somehow you think Arabs should also accomodate such decadence.

Anonymous said...

Yes, if you are going to have strange laws that criminalise what most of the world thinks is perfectly normal, natural behaviour, it should be applied to everyone. But moreover how about actually getting sufficient evidence that the crime took place before finding someone quilty! At least the widespread coverage will make visitors think twice before well breathing in public in Dubai!

EnglishTeacher365 said...

Another great laugh from the loony bin that is Dubai! As the poster above said, kissing is acceptable in every other civilised country as an entirely normal display of affection. Only on the third world backwater of Dubai is it considered illegal in a restaurant, and ... is the word of a two-year old child accepted in evidence!

What was the woman doing taking her child to a restaurant at such a time - she should be locked up for her irresponsible behaviour!

Once again the UAE is exposed as a retarded desert kingdom with just a thin veneer of western sophistication. Just think - if we westerners weren't here, they'd still be chewing on hareesh in the desert, never mind going to 'European' restaurants!

EnglishTeacher365 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Khalood said...

I swear, I could not stop laughing at this charade.

Here, we see nations forming economical unions, issuing reform laws of the constitution, passing legislation in favor of human, women, and animal rights. However, we, the Arabs, the people of supposed paramount virtue like it has been bestowed only on us, make such a gust about two people who have or may not have kissed easy other.

I never knew that the legal system had such a sour sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

As an expat, something I learned long ago was that if you dislike the way things are conducted in a country, then leave. It's as simple as that. I've lived many places and it was under no compulsion that I stayed. Each country has their own set of laws and their cultures. No one should go about in any country as freely as they would in their own. That's basic home training and upbringing (common sense).

Susan said...

On the word of a two year old child who should have been in bed hours before and a woman of dubious morality - exactly what law was being enforced here?

Rami said...

@Proud Emirati

I actually agree with you completely. If you're going to have decency laws, then at least have the decency to apply them equally to everyone. At the same time, modernize the legal system so that at least a semblance of justice exists.

Convicting someone on hearsay, especially when the only "witness" is a 2-year old (with no one appearing in court to testify against the couple!) is wrong no matter your beliefs on the issue at hand.

Do you think the sentence should have been upheld if the couple had, as they insist, kissed on the cheek in greeting?

Seabee said...

EnglishTeacher, sorry but I had to remove your last comment because the last sentence was an unsubstantiated and libellous accusation.

Susan said...

Seebee - at the risk of making an assumption - my comment about the woman's dubious moral character was based on the fact that she had admitted lying to the police when she changed her story. I was brought up to believe that lying is immoral. Moreover, lying when you know full well that the consequence of your lie could cost someone their liberty is utterly morally repugnant.

B.D. said...

Glad to see your comment Khalood, because what is so ridiculous about this case is that even if this couple are guilty as charged we are talking about a kiss. I presume this was not a drawn out necking session but a peck of some kind, whether smack on the lips or elsewhere.

Some commentators want to turn around and talk about their cherished cultural values and how this is an affront to that, duly punished.

Come on, give me a break. Local guys kiss nose to nose all the time. Lebanese kiss cheek to cheek. And Brits sometimes peck. Why is this something anyone has to face a month in jail and deportation for.

And to me, deportation is even worse than the month in jail. Dubai has become a place where expats own property--some even born here--so you potentially get banished from a home you may have lived in for years or worked hard to purchase.

For those who applaud this kind of verdict that's fine is they think Dubai ought to be a place that no foreigner desires to come to. Enjoy life, then, in a cave while the rest of the world continues to integrate.

I don't think this is the kind of Dubai that the rulers here want nor the majority of residents, whether local or expat.

Seabee said...

BD, I sort-of disagre with part of what you're saying.

There are different takes on what constitutes indecency, and an over-friendly kiss is seen here as indecent. That's the law and if you break it you could could be in trouble. That's the way it is and they have every right to have that law if they want it.

The big issue which I've been ranting about on my blog for some time is the way the justice system is working. Just the word of an accuser, denied by the defendants, no witnesses, no evidence, accuser not in court but a guilty verdict is handed down.

Susan and BD, jail time is bad enough but deportation is the real hit. As you said BD, maybe the person was born here, has lived here for decades, has property here. It means loss of job too, loss of income and livelihood. All on the unsubstantiated say-so of someone with a grudge.

rosh said...

"..they had consumed alcohol legally in licensed premises earlier."

Something does not add up. If the couple had met and shared a drink EARLIER, and subsequently hopped over to Bob's for a bite, why'd they share a "greeting" kiss at Bob's Diner? That does not make sense. Also, people share a greeting kiss everyday across the UAE..I think there's more to the story to what's being reported.

Rami said...

@rosh

To be fair, it never said they were drinking at the same place.

"licences premises" could very well imply separate locations.

I do agree though.. The story doesn't make much sense. How come there were no other witnesses? How did the police get there so fast (can't have been a cop on the scene, because otherwise he'd be a witness to the whole thing). Did the local lady speak to the couple, or did she just quietly call the cops?

And how in the hell do you accept the word of a 2 year old in court?! Can you imagine how easy it would be to get any story you want out of a child that young?

"Mommy, those two were kissing"
"What!? Where!"
"There"
"No, I mean where were they kissing?"
"On the face"
"Here (points to cheek) or here (points to lips)?"
"(points to cheek)"
"Are you sure it wasn't here? (pointing to lips)"
"umm.. yes it was there"

To jail with them!

rosh said...

Rami, it was 2AM, and perhaps not many folks pop over to a Diner at JBR. @ Cops: perhaps doing the rounds at the JBR.. it’s sort of a sensitive place from a security / threat perspective, yes? All speculative at this point.

Yeah, the 2 year old talking, makes little sense. I didn’t know a 2 year could put together legible / concise sentences?

However, I cannot help think, a couple in early 20’s – a 2AM rendezvous, shared nothing but a casual peck on the cheek subsequent to having a few drinks..? or perhaps I’ve seen too much living in party town.

Anonymous said...

Proud Emirati, totally agree with you. Apply the law to all - equally.

I'd like nothing better than to see all those rich Arabs picking up hookers in Bur Dubai sent to Al Slammer and deported too.

another mouse said...

(Anonymous said, 05 April, 2010 06:04)

"As an expat, something I learned long ago was that if you dislike the way things are conducted in a country, then leave. It's as simple as that."....

Yes, indeedy....you move around a lot? In most countries one may find things one does not particularly like. So the need to be constantly on the move.

On the other hand, in most countries, if there's something one does not particularly like, whether local or expat, one can speak freely about it, expessing one's views without fear, and not seeing any necessity to leave as a consequence. Indeed, in many countries, the free expression of opinion is actually encouraged...

Seabee said...

Rosh I agree, there's alot to be clarified and a lot of it doesn't add up. (One report for example said there were no staff witnesses because they'd all, including the manager, been transferred or were no longer here!)

But surely the point of a court case is to find out what did happen, to get to the truth and to decide a verdict based on that. You can't do that if the accuser isn't present to make the accusation and be questioned (cross examined by the defence that is), or if witnesses are not called to present their story and to be cross examined.

It could well be that the couple were guilty of over-friendly behaviour, but from all the reports I've read it wasn't proven in court, a guilty verdict was passed on the basis of the woman's written statement.

Traveler said...

This made me laugh "pleated tutu"
LOL!

Mrs. Azucena said...

The line has to be drawn somewhere, being from New York, were people almost have sex right in your face or feel each other up on the train, the bus, and on park benches in full view of everyone and where they have the mermaid parade where women walk topless and then get mad when someone tries to get their freak on, believe when it comes to that, we'll all be sorry.

By the way what about the couple who just come of the airplane and were making out on the bus at Dubai Airport? There was no arrest then. Where's the 800 number? That's what we need.

Lewdity should be left in the trash at home. But then again if you are going to do that then you need to change the whole system and then we'll get those nice aerobic videos with people in track suits instead of swimwear

Anonymous said...

Sure, Go ahead and prosecute a perpetrator when he perpetrates. The only thing i never agreed with is the inadequate investigative measures taken and immense reliance on witnesses without psyche evaluations and lie-detector tests.Also, Why keep the public in the dark so often? It promotes inaccurate speculations and makes me suspect they themselves are doubtful of the logic of their methods and they'd rather avoid public scrutiny.

Anonymous said...

So - if the law is to be applied make it so and let's start with the blacked out fools in their SUVs who threaten people's lives everyday, and how about the contingent of ever so devout Muslims lining up outside the alcohol shops every day and in the Hilton Bars to over a relaxing refreshing Halal Heineken. Sure if you don't like the laws you don't have to say but please don't get offended when the rank hypocrisy is highlighted.

Margarita Labelle said...

Morals are morals. These are non-written rules that rely on everyone's own conscience.
Law are different. Law is a set of written rules that everyone should follow.

So now for example if you make a moral rule to give 10% of your salary to charity, then it becomes a law that everyone should follow. But is it fair to impose it on everyone - it becomes some sort of tax - or is it better to leave it up to people's conscience and their own discretion?

Same should apply to public decency - should be up to people's own morals whether they want to do it publicly or not. It should not be punished by law.

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