Staring at women can get you jailed and fined in the UAE.
Any motion that makes a lady feel violated and awkward – from whistles to long gazes and dropping phone numbers – can get you imprisoned and fined in the UAE.
The Dubai police recently arrested 19 people after they were found ‘harassing and eve-teasing’ women on beaches and roads in UAE.
Eleven people were caught in Jumeriah, two in Al Khawaneej roads, five in Al Mamzar and one in Commercial Centre Street. Dubai police said.
Eve-teasing alludes to a demonstration where ladies face sexual aggression going from explicitly suggestive comments, heckles and, in some cases, out and out grabbing.
In the UAE, such a harassment covers gazing at ladies, winking at them, making a gesture of blowing kisses and commenting on her body. Taking photographs of ladies without their assent is also a crime.
Director of the General Department of Criminal Investigation, Brigadier Jamal Salem AI Jallaf said, “All women have the right to feel safe, secure and protected. And such crimes of harassment are “alien to the culture and traditions of the UAE”.
A person shall be sentenced to detention for a maximum period of one year or to fine not exceeding Dh10,000 – or both- if he molests a woman through words or acts in a public or a frequented place, According to Article 359 of the UAE’s penal code.
Ahmad Al Sayyed, senior associate of the London-based law firm Charles Russell Speechlys, said such an offence – although considered a misdemeanour – can also get a convicted expatriate deported. “Deportation, in this case, is mandatory because the charge falls under crimes against honour, Chapter 5 of Article 121, which mandates the deportation of non-UAE nationals,”
Beaches are the most commonly placed where women get harassed the most. In 2018, total 1,725 people were arrested for committing various offences on Dubai beaches.
743 were found disturbing beachgoers, 256 were nabbed for swimming in their underwear and 289 people taking photos of women without their consent.
Men would usually pretend that they were taking a picture of the sea but, actually they were snapping photos of women. “This makes me feel uncomfortable” said by a resident
Fatima from Morocco said women must be aware of their rights and inform the authorities of any offence.
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