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Dubai police arrest 11 Ukrainian women over ‘lewd’ photo shoot

Dubai’s police arrested 40 people, including 11 Ukrainian women on April 4 on charges of public debauchery. The action came after a video showing a dozen naked women on a high-rise balcony in the capital of the United Arab Emirates went viral on social media.

“According to preliminary information, there were 11 Ukrainian citizens among the detainees,” Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry told BBC Ukraine on April 4.

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry added that the consulate in Dubai is cooperating with local law enforcement agencies to ensure respect for the Ukrainian women’s rights and clarify all the circumstances of the case.

On April 3, videos and photographs depicting over a dozen naked women lined up on a balcony in broad daylight spread across social media, leading to the arrests.

Dubai police said those arrested over the “indecent” video had been referred to the public prosecution.

The detained women face up to six months in jail and a 5,000 dirham fine ($1,360). The organizer of the shoot faces up to 1.5 years in jail and a 50,000 dirham fine (about $14,000).

“Such unacceptable behaviors do not reflect the values and ethics of Emirati society,” the police statement said.

However, Emirati authorities may pardon the detained girls for the onset of Ramadan, Islam’s most important religious feast, according to the Russian Consulate, which is also concerned by the case as UAE authorities also detained eight Russian women.

The UAE has strict moral rules, especially concerning appearance. Clothing must be restrained and cover most of the body. While swimwear is allowed on the beach, it is strictly forbidden to be topless there. Kissing in public or drinking alcohol without a license can land people in jail. Sharing pornographic material is also punishable with prison time and hefty fines under the country’s justice system, which is based on Islamic religious law or Sharia.

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