UAE Court Cancels Punishment for Couple Accused of Sexual Relations Outside Marriage

A man and a woman, who were sent to court for having a sexual relationship out of wedlock, have recently been acquitted by the Sharjah Appellate Court.

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

Court Cancels Punishment for Couple Accused of Sexual Relations Outside Marriage
Credits: WAM

Court Cancels Punishment for Couple’s Sexual Relations Out of Wedlock

The decision was made on November 2 last year after judges heard how the couple was caught having sex in a car in Sharjah, the Khaleej Times reported.

After they were caught, the couple was referred to the public prosecution which sent them to court on the charge of having sexual relations outside marriage.

However, both denied the charges in court. Despite this, they were still sentenced to jail.

In defence of the couple, Emirati lawyer Salim bin Sahoo filed an appeal requesting his clients to be acquitted.

He explained that his clients are being prosecuted for an act that no longer is considered a crime based on the amendments 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 arrived with the decision to acquit the defendants as the charge raised no longer is valid as per the amended law and according to federal decree number 15, which was published in the official gazette last September.

With the amended law enacted last year, unmarried couples are no longer in default of the UAE regulations and they can freely live together in the same place, as long as both are adults and enjoy a healthy mind and reasonable behaviour.

In line with this, public morals remain at the forefront of the UAE legislators and the amendment’s aim is to regulate the life of UAE residents in the spirit of acceptance and tolerance.

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