Pair faces jail over sex in a Dubai taxi

2012-10-18 14:01

Dubai - A British woman and Irish man accused of engaging in sexual activities in a Dubai taxi pleaded not guilty on Thursday, in the latest case of Westerners falling foul of the Gulf Arab emirate's decency laws.

If convicted, the pair could face jail and then deportation from the United Arab Emirates, which walks a delicate line between keeping its Muslim identity and maintaining a successful tourism industry.

Rebecca Blake and Conor McRedmond both denied charges of "breach of honour with consent" and committing "an indecent act in a taxi" when they appeared in court.

They pleaded guilty to a third charge related to consumption of alcohol, their lawyer said after the hearing, without elaborating. The judge postponed the next hearing to 1 November.

There have been several cases in recent years of Westerners accused of violating decency laws in Dubai, the most cosmopolitan of the seven-member United Arab Emirates federation.

In 2008, a British couple was found guilty of engaging in drunken sexual activity out of wedlock, and in public on a beach. They were sentenced to three months in prison followed by deportation, but had their jail terms overturned on appeal.

In 2010, a British couple were sentenced to a month in jail and fined for kissing on the mouth in a restaurant.

Expatriates comprise more than 90% of the UAE's population, attracted by tax-free earnings and year-round sunshine.

Islam bans alcohol for Muslims. In the UAE, non-Muslims can drink at certain hotels and beach bars where all-you-can-drink brunches heave with revellers every weekend.

  • christopher.shining - 2012-10-18 14:22

    In a taxi, driven by a resident in Dubai...don't be stupid people. He was probably pissed off that his seats were messed up..

      stirrer.stirrer - 2012-10-18 14:49

      No (Arab) resident in Dubai will "stoop so low" as to drive a taxi. The drivers are all Indian, Sri Lankan, Pakistani, etc.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-10-18 15:54

      But they don't mind driving camels or is it riding?

  • sook.nav - 2012-10-18 14:34

    When are westerners going to learn that when you are in someone else's country, you obey their laws! I work in the Middle East and while the country I work in is very keen to have me here, it is still their country and I am the outsider. I have to fit in with the way they do things, not the other way around. If you want to behave like you do in your home country, go back there. I agree with Curriemafia - a proper bloody hiding in public is what is needed to be punishment to these two and a warning to others.

  • joemarshe.push - 2012-10-18 14:40

    Have you noticed that it's always the British committing these acts in Dubai.

      sook.nav - 2012-10-18 14:42


  • bokmaster - 2012-10-18 14:57

    This case made headlines here in Dubai as well. It should though, be taken into context and before anybody gives an opinion based on complete ignorance please educate yourselves on Dubai. As a resident I can tell you that yes there is the law, strictly enforced as well, but fair and in all honesty how many of you have had sex in the back of a taxi recently, so lets not get too carried away about what is considered decent and morally acceptable. Counter that with the fact that we get to live in a city with a first world infrastructure, is virtually free from any violent and contact crimes, is efficient, where the government acts as if it is there to serve you and not vice versa, where you have the very best of everything from around the world, get paid a decent salary and have a very decent quality of life. Ofcourse lets not forget two other little things so near and dear to all SAFFAS, no income tax and a petrol price that make it a pleasure to fill up.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-10-18 15:23

      A very interesting point you make about citizen security, and a government able to meet its social obligations. Do you think that the people of Dubai are thrilled at their future prospects, or are they angry that there is not a wide enough range of newspapers or political parties, or that they don't get to vote for their government? I am interested in the ability of human beings to accept things (such as a free press, elections or morality) as universal when they really aren't, and then cause all kinds of problems by acting on that faulty interpretation of reality. Do the people of Dubai care whether they live in a democracy or not?

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-10-18 19:00

      Fidel, It is very simple: Hold a referendum, If the population wants to have a say of their own destiny, and have accountability !!!! It would be the ONLY people in the world, who would prefer a dictatorship !!!!!!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-10-18 20:31

      It's entirely possible that new political structures can arise which are not only more coherent than western democracies but which even they would accept provide adequate levels of freedom and social justice for the populace. The problem arises when people like you can't even imagine how anyone could do that without blindly following the western model.

  • buti.lembe - 2012-10-18 15:05

    When your'e in Rome do as the Romans do. Why those people they don't follow the rules of other land.

  • gavin.dandridge - 2012-10-18 16:10

    Ok, so it fine to enforce muslim laws on westerns in muslim countries but not ok for westerners to expect muslims in their countries to respect their secular laws and human rights?

      ft.burhaak - 2012-10-18 21:01

      Pls tel me if your secular law condones adultary?i notice many critics of Islamic Law are suddenly also going against their UN verdict,since it might threaten the loyalty of their damsels.

      gavin.dandridge - 2012-10-18 21:41

      it's not a criminal offense!

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