UAE: Couple's punishment for sex out of wedlock cancelled

Sharjah - UAE law reforms save unmarried couple from jail, deportation.

(AFP file photo used for illustrative purpose)
(AFP file photo used for illustrative purpose)

Afkar Ali Ahmed

Published: Wed 3 Mar 2021, 7:02 PM

A man and a woman, who were convicted of having sexual relationship out of wedlock, have been acquitted by the Sharjah Appellate Court.

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Earlier, the Sharjah Criminal Court of First Instance had sentenced the Palestinian pair to six months in prison to be followed by deportation.

The jail sentence was pronounced on November 2 last year after judges heard how the couple was caught having sex in a car in Sharjah.

They were referred to the public prosecution which sent them to court on the charge of having sexual relationship outside marriage.

Both denied the charge when they appeared in the court. However, they were convicted.

Defending the couple, Emirati lawyer Salim bin Sahoo filed an appeal requesting his clients be acquitted.

He told the court that his clients are being prosecuted for an act that no longer is considered a crime based on the changes made to the UAE laws last year.

Following his argument, the appellate court acquitted both the defendants on January 10 this year.

The appellate court said that the charge raised against the defendants doesn't hold ground as per the amended law and according to the federal decree number 15, which was published in the official gazette last September.

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