'I screamed his name': Mother's relief as son and pregnant fiancée are released from UAE prison

By Khatija Nxedlana
10 March 2017

A newly engaged couple arrested for having sex before marriage, while living in the UAE, has been released.

TimesLive reports that the charges against Emlyn Culverwell and his pregnant fiancée‚ Iryna Nohai‚ which included violating the country’s morality laws, have been dropped.

The couple is also reported to have paid bail.

The website quoted Emlyn’s mother‚ Linda Culverwell as saying, “I screamed his name; I was busy with a blood pressure test when I took the call.

“I thought he was phoning from prison. He told me to calm down and that they were out on bail. Then today they phoned to say all charges were dropped. I didn’t know if I wanted to scream or cry.”

Read more: Drama continues: SA can’t come to the aid of couple arrested for premarital sex in UAE

29-year-old Emlyn Culverwell who is South African and his girlfriend 27-year-old Iryna Nohai originally from the Ukraine were arrested in Abu Dhabi on January 29.

SA won't come to the aid of couple arrested for premarital sex in UAE PHOTO: Facebook

Iryna had been at the doctor’s office at the time after suffering with stomach cramps. The doctor found that she was pregnant and the couple was later arrested - as it is considered an offence to have sex before marriage in the UAE.

TimesLive reported that under Sharia law‚ Nohai is guilty of “Zina”‚ an Islamic term for extramarital sex.

The website also reports that the couple met in Abu Dhabi and started dating.

According to News24, who spoke to Emlyn’s mother Linda Culverwell, the pair was recently engaged.

SA won't come to the aid of couple arrested for premarital sex in UAE PHOTO: Facebook

The article states that the Ukrainian embassy is involved and was still trying to obtain permission for the couple to get married or for them to be deported.

News24 quoted Linda as saying "We are trying to get messages to the two to say we love them and that they shouldn’t be worried... what concerns me most, is that we actually haven’t got a clue how they are. All the Department of International Relations is prepared to say is that we have ‘to be patient’, but there are three lives at stake here."

Meanwhile, in an email to YOU, Spokesperson for the International Relations Nelson Kgwete said the South African embassy in Abu Dhabi is not in a position to interfere in the legal process in the UAE.

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