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Group detained in Dubai for sharing naked video

A group of people have been rounded up by Dubai police after sharing videos on social media showing naked women posing on a balcony. The group have violated a number of laws and could face huge fines and years in jail.

“The violations range from public decency and debauchery to violations under the UAE’s strict Cybercrime laws that prohibit the sharing of pornographic or offensive material”, said Radha Stirling, founder of Detained in Dubai who has represented numerous individuals charged under the same laws.

Stirling continued, “When a violation like this occurs, the risk is that a large group may be rounded up by authorities, even if they had nothing to do with the crime. This could include friends nearby the incident, or those who received the widely circulated video. Anyone who has simply hit the share button on social media has violated the country’s Cybercrime laws and could face prosecution themselves.

“Even if they are ultimately found innocent, they could be held for days, weeks or longer, until they are able to present their defence to a court. It’s important to note that even sharing the video in a private message or on WhatsApp will render them liable to prosecution.

“In the past, people have been arrested for inappropriate attire, offensive t-shirts, privately shared lewd messages, pornography and nude photos. They have been arrested for forwarding messages and for sharing prohibited content on social media.

“It’s important that visitors recognise that if a complaint is made or a violation is brought to the attention of authorities, they could be arrested, prosecuted, jailed and deported.

“Others have been arrested for holding hands in public, kissing and other displays of affection and the UAE is very clearly, a country that will prosecute violations that are brought to their attention. The country can be confusing to tourists who see open displays of prostitution, gay clubs and drinking. On the surface, Dubai can appear to be a very modern party place where anything goes but as soon as a report is made to the police, the complaint will be taken seriously.

“When police ignore so many violations, it can appear to visitors that the behaviour is welcome and this is something the city needs to address. The lack of strict enforcement does not make this behaviour legal”.

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