UAE; Those associated with a nude photo shoot on a high-rise balcony in Dubai will be deported, officials said Tuesday, after the video went viral and provoked a crackdown in the Gulf Arab sheikhdom. Dubai officials arrested at least 11 Ukrainian women who modeled naked in broad daytime accompanying with a male Russian photographer on charges of public lewdness and creating pornography. Earlier this week, images and videos of the naked women created waves across social media and sent a stream of shock through the emirate, where a legal code based on Islamic law, or Shariah, has settled foreigners in jail for tamer sins.
After a strangely quick inquiry, Dubai’s Attorney General Essam Issa al-Humaidan declared that those after the photoshoot would be sent back to their homelands, without developing more. Dubai police have declined to recognize those arrested. More than a dozen women appeared in the publicly shared video. Ukrainian and Russian officials verified the arrest of their citizens Tuesday, but the nationalities of the others arrested were not directly identified.
The sudden deportation is unusual for the legal system in Dubai, a ruled sheikhdom. Such events typically proceed to trial or are otherwise settled before deportation.” The public prosecutor ordered the deportation of the accused of their behavior contrary to public morals,” al-Humaidan said, continuing that the crowd of women had been charged with infringing the country’s public decency law.
The nude photoshoot scandal happened just days before Ramadan, the holiest month of the Muslim calendar, and as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky landed in nearby Doha, Qatar, for an official state visit. Over the years, Dubai frequently has developed itself as a popular destination for Russians on holiday. Signs in Cyrillic are a common sight at the city’s major malls.
It’s not the initial time that foreign social media influencers, amateur, and pro, have drawn undesired scrutiny in the United Arab Emirates. Earlier this year, as Dubai raised itself as a major pandemic-friendly gathering hub for travelers leaving hard lockdowns elsewhere, European reality TV show stars arrived under fire for displaying their poolside Dubai vacations on social media and for causing the coronavirus back home. Denmark and the United Kingdom later banned flights to the UAE as virus cases surged in the federation of seven sheikhdoms. Although the UAE has lately made legal modifications to draw foreign tourists and investors, letting unmarried couples share hotel rooms and residents drink alcohol without a license, the Gulf Arab country’s justice system holds harsh fines for violations of the public decency law.
Nudity and other “lewd behavior,” carry penalties of up to six months in prison and a penalty of 5,000 dirhams. The sharing of pornographic material is also condemned with prison time and heavy fines. The country’s majority of state-owned telecom companies prevent access to pornographic websites. Foreigners, who make up some 90% of the UAE’s population of over 9 million, have been detained for remarks and videos online, as well as for sins recognized benign in the West, like kissing in public.