Russian man detained over ‘lewd’ photoshoot on Dubai balconyavril 6, 2021
A Russian man has been arrested in connection with the filming of several naked women in a “lewd” photoshoot in Dubai.
Police in the UAE said they had detained a group of more than a dozen foreigners – including 11 from Ukraine – after a video depicting naked women posing on a high-rise balcony overlooking the upmarket Marina neighbourhood in broad daylight was shared widely on social media.
The detained photoshoot organiser’s identity has not been officially released but Ivan Gubanov, the Russian vice-consul in Dubai, said the male suspect was the only Russian citizen to be arrested in relation to the 3 April incident.
One Russian news outlet claimed 40 women had also been detained, although this was not confirmed by officials in Dubai or Moscow.
Police said in a statement that the group had been arrested over an “indecent video shared online” that contravened Article 361 of the Federal Penal Code in Dubai.
The article states that “whoever publicly appeals, sings or engages in lewd speech, and whoever seduces others publicly into debauchery in any manner whatsoever, shall be punished by detention for at most six months and by a fine not exceeding Dh5,000 (£985), or by either of these two penalties”.
The footage came as a shock in the United Arab Emirates, which has strict rules governing public behaviour and expression based on Islamic law, or Shariah.
Violations of the public decency law in the UAE, including for nudity and other “lewd behaviour”, carry penalties of up to six months in prison and a fine of 5,000 dirhams (£983).
The sharing of pornographic material is also punishable with prison time and hefty fines.
Foreigners, who make up some 90 per cent of the UAE’s population of over nine million, have previously been sent to prison for their comments online, as well as for kissing in public.
Additional reporting by AP