Sunday, April 04, 2010

'Kissing couple' appeal rejected

The mockery of justice I posted about earlier has been upheld by the appeals court, the news being reported by media all over the world.

A British couple were appealing against a one month jail sentence followed by deportation for indecent behaviour. They say they kssed on the cheek in a friendly greeting, an Emirati woman claimed they were 'kissing & touching' indecently.

It was one person's word against another's and the accuser did not appear in court, she simply gave a written statement. That's the really disturbing aspect of the case, as it has been with others I've posted about.

On nothing more than a complaint from an individual a case is brought, the accuser doesn't even bother to attend the hearing, a guilty verdict is declared, sentence is passed.

There were discrepancies in the woman's claim which Public Prosecution didn't resolve because they couldn't reach her by phone. They went ahead with the case anyway.

At an earlier hearing there were claims that witnesses would be presented. There's been no mention of them in the radio and print reports I've come across, so I assume none appeared.

The couple can take it to one more appeal.

A BBC report is here. (It has a serious error by the way. The couple did not 'consume alcohol in an illegal place' as the report claims. They drank alcohol perfectly legally in licensed premises earlier. They were charged under the inexplicable law with 'consuming alcohol', something I've complained about in several posts. It's legal to sell it. It's also legal to consume it but you can be charged if you do!)

There's an interesting new bit of information in this BBC report - I wonder how reliable it is.

Earlier reports said the woman was out with her two children. It was 2am and I mused on how old the children were to be out in a burger joint at that time.

Today's BBC report says that she was with her two year old daughter.

The discrepancy in the accusation was that she first said her child had told her the couple were kissing, later that she had seen it herself. As I said, Public Prosecution 'couldn't reach her by phone' to clarify.

I'll repeat what I've said before. I have absolutely no problem with a law that makes it illegal to behave intimately in public. If that's the law of the land we have to obey it.

But I do have a huge argument with the way the law is administered.

It's no more than the word of one person, with that accuser not even bothering to , and not having to, attend the hearing. Write a complaint and that's it, you need do no more, you just walk away. The person you've accused is arrested, charged, found guilty, sentenced to jail and deportation. Deportation means their job, their livelihood, is gone.

Having a bad day? Don't like the look of someone? Have a business rival? Had an argument with someone?

It's the simplest thing in the world to get rid of them. Just accuse them of indecent behaviour or a rude gesture.


James said...

I've followed this story in the news and on your blog and completely echo your sentiments.

I wonder what would have happened if other witnesses had come forward in favour of the accused? It sounds like the start of a bad joke, but how many expats would it take to dis-credit (or even give a court cause for reasonable doubt) a seemingly shaky statement made by an Emirati woman and her (alleged) two year old child?

On a personal level, I also wonder what drives a person to cause other human-beings such pain and misery in reaction to something which has caused them no harm whatsoever. Its disgusting.

Anonymous said...

It's time the expat community took a stand and started to boycott Dubai.

If all it takes to screw someones life over is a statement from the accuser with no witnesses to verify their allegation, this sends a real dangerous message.

Absolutely disgusted with the whole scenario. Not only has it affected the livelihood of the resident who was working in Dubai, as we do not know if the female who works and live in the UK has her job to go back to, but both brits now have a criminal record which in turn can affect their travel and immigration to other countries.

Thank you Dubai for f@@@@@g up their lives on the say so of one of your citizens.

Anonymous said...

It's a fundamental right in Western legal systems to be able to face, and challenge, your accuser. The fact that this right is not available in the UAE ought to have the country thrown out of the United Nations.

Glennis said...

Oh major crime, hang them at sunset, they were kissing and showing love and affection! For goodness sake. Suicide bombing is quite ok but kissing now thats a real problem.

Seabee said...

Glennis, I'm not aware of anyone here saying that suicide bombing is OK.

Rina said...

I read this article before and as an Emirati girl, I think the people are exaggerating! If I see people kissing and I don't like it I'd turn the other way and move on! It's as simple as that. But people are so dramatic. I can't imagine myself reporting couples for what they're doing and as you mentioned, don't even bother to attend the trial and those couples have their life ruined for something trivial.

I remember a couple were kissing on the beach when I took a trip with my family, despite us coming from a strict background we didn’t even felt offended by it. My dad laughed and told us to get into the car and to stop looking at them as we were leaving. Some people have so much hatred for foreigners since they believe that they take their jobs and whatever. No wonder the world is so messed up.

Sorry for the long comment but I just had to sound my opinion in this matter.