Thursday, March 18, 2010

Jail for 'planning to commit sin'

Dubai's in the news around the world again and it's on the subject of my recent posts, the laws and justice. Again.

This time the headline used most often is "Steamy text messages land couple in Dubai jail"

Text messages between the couple surfaced in a divorce lawsuit by the woman's estranged husband.

The court ruling said there was not enough evidence to determine whether the couple actually had an affair, but they were found guilty of 'planning to commit sin'.

Al Slammer for six months followed by deportation.

On appeal the sentence was reduced to three months and no deportation.

It's splashed all over the media all over the world - google it and you'll get thousands of websites.

And, of course, the story ends by reminding readers of previous cases.

Hoteliers here, already struggling with an oversupply of rooms and the worldwide recession, must be tearing their hair out.


Dave said...

So there was no evidence to prove an extra-marital affair..... All they actually did was send text messages..... hmmmmm.....

How did the court conclude they 'planned to commit sin'? And wasn't it the UAE Govt officials that stated recently how proud they were of the country's human rights achievements...

a-hem said...

What worried me about this one was (according to the article in the National) Etisalat was ordered to retrieve their text messages, and they complied. Forget retrieving, I wasn't aware they logged it. Heck, it should at least warrant a mention in the TOS when we sign up. Very Orwellian and creepy.

Seabee said...

a-hem everything we send electronically is monitored, and not just here. Check on the Echelon monitoring system for example.

redstar said...

Sometimes the planning is the most fun :)

Susan said...

Has this place gone completely bonkers? It would be funny if its wasn't for the fact that these are people's lives being ruined. This is not the Dubai I've loved for so long.

Anonymous said...

It seems as though Dubai is being mentored by Saudi Arabia. The only part that is missing now is the Religious Police.

Maybe Dubai has built everything that it could have to bring it in line with the 21st Century, has no more room for maneuver and knows it will not recover so it might as well go for broke and tell all foreigners to leave but in a publicly subtle manner. If enough pressure and deterrents are put out in the media then hopefully people will get the message and leave or not bother come.

It really baffles the mind that after everything Dubai portrayed over the years in order to entice foreigners, it has now decided to do a complete U turn and scare people away by taking to task anyone and everyone for anything and everything!

Doug Freeman said...

Anonymous at 3/18 - 6:39 PM

You raise an interesting point. This is so reminiscent the way Sharjah went for broke in the mid 90s. I recall there was a booze outlet in the Sharjah Port area where one could just walk in and pick up cartons of spirits, might I add without a permit, without any limits. All was well and business was swell until Saudi Arabia built that mosque and literally took over Sharjah's day to day affairs with their Islamization of the Emirate.

Here's hoping the Maks are not as dumb as their neighbor!

Anonymous said...

Dear Doug. Islamization of an Emirate is not a problem or a bad thing. The problem lies when the Emirate is not clear about their identity and is operating a double standard.

If they want to take the Pro Islamic route then so be it, but make sure that alcohol is no longer sold anywhere, nightclubs encouraging free mixing of men and women are abolished, prostitution is eradicated, the banks stop charging and offering interest rates, all muslims observe the prayer times and on time, the orphans, widows, poor and wayfarers are fed, modesty returns back into the community, appropriate garments are worn in public, women are given their due rights, the Rulers are voted in using the democratic system which Islam introduced to the region over 1400 years ago, the fair distribution of wealth and no one is penalised for their religious views. This is just a small list of what is required for the image change of Dubai.

I just hope for the peoples sake that someone in Dubai who calls the shots knows exactly what they are doing and not be living in some form of cocoon.

Doug Freeman said...

Anonymous at 3/19 - 12:29 AM

Thanks for the candor.

To signify my agreement, I'll leave you with a classic.

Doug said...

I'm not the other Doug!

Now that's out of the way...well, if affairs are against the law of the UAE, then fair enough, it's the UAE's right to punish this.

But this case isn't that (as far as we know). All we have is an intention to commit a crime. And now we have someone jailed on the possibility they might commit a crime.

And now we're in Minority Report territory.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. The UAE's laws aren't the problem. The arbitrary and inconsistent way the judiciary works is the problem.

rosh said...


True stuff Doug Freeman. I don't think it was Islamization in its true sense, but more so the KSAian version of Islam. SHJ is quite an interesting Emirate, IMO. It's right next to the most liberal town (after BAH) in the GCC, but is hugely influenced by KSA. Nevertheless, I love it.

Anonymous said...

Dear Doug

That youtube link was awesome. I now know how you feel. Patience my friend, patience.