International Law

UK Couple Gets 3 Months in Dubai Beach Sex Case


Two citizens of the United Kingdom who allegedly were caught having sex this summer on a beach in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, got a light sentence by local standards—three months in jail, followed by deportation.

As discussed in an earlier ABAJournal.com post, such conduct is taken very seriously in the United Arab Emirates country. However, Michelle Palmer, 36, has said that she and Vince Acors, 34, were simply kissing each other, not having sex—and she says there is no DNA evidence to prove they had sex, according to the London Times.

Others say that both she and Acors intend to appeal, even though that presumably could put them at risk of harsher consequences.

Outside of court, prosecutor Faisal Abdelmalek Ahil said he expected a harsher sentence, reports the Los Angeles Times “I’m not happy,” he tells the newspaper. “It’s very light. It’s normal for a sentence to be six months to a year for an offense such as this.”

The two apparently may have been treated more leniently than the norm because they are foreigners: “Analysts here say their relatively light punishment was meant to strike a balance between sending a clear message that visitors must respect local laws and culture, and maintaining the UAE’s well-honed image of welcoming outsiders and their business,” explains the London Times.

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