Dubai police arrested a group of people accused of public debauchery, for a widely shared video that showed naked women posing on a balcony in the city.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Dubai police have arrested a group of people accused of public debauchery, authorities said, for a widely shared video showing naked women posing on a balcony in the city.
Violations of the public decency law in the UAE, including for nudity and other “lewd conduct”, carry penalties of up to six months in prison and a fine of Dh5,000 ($ 1,360). The sharing of pornographic material is also punishable by prison terms and heavy fines under the laws of the country, which are based on Islamic or Shariah law.
Late on Saturday, videos and photos showing more than a dozen naked women lined up on a balcony as they were filmed in the exclusive Marina neighborhood of Dubai in broad daylight, splashed on social media. It was a shock in the federation of seven Arab sheikhs, where more tame behavior, such as kissing in public or drinking alcohol without a license, has landed people in jail. The state-linked newspaper The National reported that it appeared to be a “publicity stunt,” without elaborating.
Dubai police said those arrested for the “indecent” video had been referred to the prosecution.
“Such unacceptable behavior,” the police statement said, “does not reflect the values and ethics of Emirati society.”
The UAE, while liberal in many respects compared to its Middle Eastern neighbors, has strict laws governing expression. People have been jailed for their comments and videos online. Most of the state telecommunications companies in the country block access to the main pornographic websites.