Rebecca Blake and Conor Mc Redmond both denied charges of "breach of honour with consent" and committing "an indecent act in a taxi" when they appeared in court last month.They also pleaded guilty to a third charge related to consumption of alcohol in public.
The case is the latest in which Westerners have fallen foul of the United Arab Emirates' decency laws, highlighting cultural differences as the UAE seeks a balance between maintaining its Muslim identity and catering for a vibrant tourism industry.The cultural chasm in the Gulf Arab state between the country's native Muslim population and the expatriates community, is conspicuous in everyday life.While Emirati women cover themselves from head to toe with a headscarf and a traditional black gown, some of their Western expatriate counterparts walk around in shorts or mini-skirts, and public beaches are full of tourists sunbathing in bikinis. In the UAE, non-Muslims can drink at most hotels and beach bars where all-you-can-drink brunches heave with revellers every weekend.Members of the family of the woman in Britain have complained that the British police authorities were not taking action against the alleged rapists. Foreign Office said it was aware of the case and was working to help the family. “We have been involved with several cases in the past where this has happened, and we work with the lawyers and families and have campaigned to change attitudes in the police and judiciary.“We know who the culprits are but as far as I’m aware West Midlands Police aren’t doing anything,” the young woman’s mother said during an interview at her home in Cheshire, England, according to “We haven’t been getting help anywhere,” her father added. Recent cases show that it is still not safe for victims to report these crimes to the police without the risk of suffering a double punishment.” “This is tremendously disturbing,” Stirling said while commenting on the fact that the alleged attackers were allowed to return to the UK, with no charges filed against them.They not only invalidate their victimization, they actually punish them for it.” UAE law criminalizes all sex outside of marriage.
The country’s authorities enforce the law and its penalties on foreigners regardless of their previous relationship before visiting the country.
"The court sentenced them to jail for three months and deportation in addition to a fine of 3,000 dirhams ($1002) each," their lawyer Shaker al-Shammary told Reuters. There have been several cases in recent years of Westerners accused of violating decency laws in Dubai, the most cosmopolitan of the seven-member UAE federation.
In 2008, a British couple was found guilty of engaging in drunken sexual activity out of wedlock and in public on a beach in Dubai.
But campaigners and officials say hundreds of young Pakistani women are also trafficked every year to supply the thriving sex trade in the brothels and nightclubs of Dubai. More than a year after she escaped, Zunera’s pain is still etched into her stumbling, hesitant voice — and also into her body, which bears the marks of countless beatings.
Vivid, angry scars run the length of her legs from ankle to hip, reminders of a botched operation after she was shot three times by the gang who trafficked her.
Expatriates make up more than 90 percent of the UAE's population.