- The UAE has announced that any gesture that makes women feel violated and uncomfortable will attract jail terms and fine
- Some of the offences include catcalls, long stares, dropping phone numbers and outright groping
- According to the UAE's penal code, offenders will be sentenced to detention for a maximum period of one year or to a fine not exceeding Dh10,000 or both
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has reportedly announced that any gesture that makes women feel violated and uncomfortable such as catcalls, long stares, dropping phone numbers, etc. will attract jail terms and fine.
Khaleej Times reports that the Dubai police reiterated the warning as they announced that 19 people were recently arrested after they were found 'harassing and eve-teasing' women on beaches and roads.
Eve-teasing means the making of unwanted sexual remarks or advances by a man to a woman in a public place. It also includes, catcalls and, sometimes, outright groping.
In the UAE, such a harassment also covers staring at women, winking at them, blowing kisses and commenting on her body. Taking photos of women without their consent is also a crime.
The country's director of the General Department of Criminal Investigation, Brigadier Jamal Salem Al Jallaf, said all women have the right to feel safe, secure and protected, adding that such crimes of harassment are "alien to the culture and traditions of the UAE".
According to Article 359 of the UAE's penal code, a person shall be sentenced to detention for a maximum period of one year or to a fine not exceeding Dh10,000 - or both - if he molests a woman through words or acts in a public or a frequented place.
Ahmad Al Sayyed, senior associate of the London-based law firm Charles Russell Speechlys, said such an offence - although considered a misdemeanour - can also get a convicted expatriate deported.
"Deportation, in this case, is mandatory because the charge falls under crimes against honour, Chapter 5 of Article 121, which mandates the deportation of non-UAE nationals," Al Sayyed said.
Beachgoers are common target of the sanction as beaches are reportedly some of the most common places where harassment takes place.
Officers in plain clothes and patrols are deployed across the emirate, especially on public beaches to arrest the offenders. Security cameras are also reportedly installed in certain areas.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Pope Francis renewed his plea for forgiveness for all kinds of abuse of power practiced by members of the church and all its institutions.
In a speech during mass before 500,000 people in Dublin, the pontiff spoke of meeting eight survivors of sexual abuse.
“We ask forgiveness for the time that passed without showing compassion to the survivors” he added.
"We ask for forgiveness for the persons in charge within the church hierarchy who did not take charges against this kind of abuse," he said.
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