(AFP) – Aug 31, 2008
DUBAI (AFP) — Two foreign women have been jailed for a month for kissing and fondling each other and engaging in "indecent acts" on a public beach in Dubai, the media reported on Sunday.
The Dubai Court of Appeal upheld the one-month jail sentence handed down by a lower court to the women, a 30-year-old Lebanese national and a 36-year-old Bulgarian who both pleaded not guilty, 7Days newspaper said.
Prosecutors had charged the women with kissing, groping each other and "indecent acts in public," the paper said, adding that this was the first case of its kind in the United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven states including Dubai.
According to police reports, the two women were seen being intimate with each other on Al Mamzar public beach between Sharjah and Dubai in April.
They will be deported after serving their sentences.
The UAE, an oil-rich Gulf country comprising some 5.6 million people -- most of them foreigners -- has positioned itself as an international business hub and major tourist destination.
It maintains a conservative social order, repressing inter alia homosexuality and prostitution.
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