By Eric C. Sigmund
Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – The Sharjah Sharia Court in the UAE today sentenced two foreign workers to 100 lashings and deportation for having “unlawful sex.” This incendiary ruling comes after two immigrant workers, one Filipino and one Bangladeshi, were found to have had sex out of wedlock, a crime under Sharia law. In addition to deportation and other physical punishments, the Bangladeshi national may also be imprisoned for up to a year for committing adultery.
Reports indicated that the Filipino worker, a housemaid, invited her boyfriend over to her sponsor’s house on numerous occasions while the family was away in order to have sex. The two were caught after the housemaid’s sponsor saw the worker’s boyfriend sneaking out of the house. Both workers are said to have admitted to having sex while the sponsor family was away.
Under Sharia law in the UAE, Muslim immigrants who commit adultery are lashed and deported while non-Muslims immigrants are imprisoned and then deported. According to reports, both workers are Muslims, however, both may be subject to an additional prison sentence. Having sex out of wedlock is illegal in the UAE. Kissing in public is also illegal under Sharia law.
The UAE has come under fire recently for a slew of court rulings sentencing foreign workers to a variety of inhumane and disproportionate punishments for various “illegal” acts. In August, the UPI documented 8 cases of excessive punishments. These cases are only illustrative and account for only a portion of the harsh rulings imposed against foreigners in the UAE. The government in Abu Dhabi has yet to comment on the result of this latest case. However, for those countries which embrace Sharia law, today’s ruling is simply business as usual.
For more information please see:
ABC News – Couple to be Lashed for Sex Out of Wedlock – 15 Nov. 2010
Emirates 24/7 – 100 Lashes Each for Illicit Lovers – 15 Nov. 2010
UPI – Illicit Couple Sentenced to Lashing in UAE – 15 Nov. 2010
UPI – Continued Cultural Clashes in Dubai, Abu Dhabi – 12 Aug. 2010