Photo: The offending garment: Not for use in the UAE
OK, so its a pretty eye catching T shirt, part of a New York designer's skin cancer awareness campaign. But increasingly the UAE is becoming more draconian in the punishments meted out to expats accused of offending Emirati sensitivities. This sort of thing is going to hurt the tourist trade. Not so much the need to be sensible in dress terms, but the seemingly random severity of the punishments. I mean, a month in an Emirati prison and deportation for .... a T Shirt. And there aren't even any visible nipples.
Also strange that his lawyer wasn't even present at the appeal.
In other news, Bahrain indefinitely suspended, and 12 hrs later reinstated , a newspaper that printed an OpEd piece highly critical of the Iranian leadership and the recent elections. Criticism of a foreign leader (as long as Bahrain has diplomatic relations with the country) is illegal. And Shia sensitivities are very high, especially right now.
The BBC has a nice article looking at the election numbers statistically. In some provinces the results - while possible - seem pretty suspicious and unlikely without some degree of fraud.
...The study examines the results from this year and compares them with the first round from 2005, concluding that there would have to have been a huge swing from previously reform-minded voters into the Ahmadinejad camp.
The study says: "In a third of all provinces, the official results would require that Ahmadinejad took not only all former conservative voters, and all former centrist voters, and all new voters, but also up to 44% of former reformist voters, despite a decade of conflict between these two groups." ...
Commentaries on the Iranian elections, the alleged fraud, and the riots and deaths as the Iranian junta try to re-establish control of the streets with brute force, are problematic for the GCC. They don't want to annoy the Iranians, as things are tense enough over disputed islands, gas access, and Iran's increased support for Shia groups in the Sunni-dominated GCC. But they also can't support what's happening either without looking silly. So... no comment will be the order of the day please media. Oman is different and has both allowed official media to report on the situation from the wire services, and let Essa express support for the result too. Here's the disturbing story of the murder of a young woman by Iranian paramilitaries, when she was deliberately shot and killed for just standing in the road a few blocks away from the riots.
And here's the T shirt story. Take care with your wardrobe choices in the UAE folks!
Man in lewd T-shirt loses court appeal
Marten Youssef and Loveday Morris
Last Updated: June 18. 2009 11:16PM UAE
A Lebanese man is facing one month in jail and deportation for wearing a cancer awareness T-shirt depicting a near-naked woman, after losing an appeal yesterday.
In a brief hearing at Dubai Court of Appeals the judge upheld RN’s sentence of 30 days in jail followed by deportation on a charge of offending public decency. The defendant was not present. Neither was his lawyer.
According to court records RN, 28, was stopped at a bakery in Dubai on Nov 29 by an Arab man who confronted him over his T-shirt, which showed a nearly nude Victoria Beckham partially covered by the slogan “Protect the Skin You’re In”.
An argument ensued between the two, after which RN left to change his shirt, according to court documents. Police were called and three charges were initially pressed against the defendant: drunkenness, fleeing the scene of a conflict and offending public decency. The first two charges have since been dropped.
The defendant was detained for 48 hours, then released on bail. He submitted his passport to the police pending a judgment and was found guilty on April 19. He has been in prison since his first appeal hearing on June 11.
The defendant’s friend said there should be more clarity about the rules of dress in Dubai.
“You can go to the beach and see people wearing very little,” he said. “You can go to a mall or nightclub and see people dressed like that.”
The British government recently issued new travel advice for visitors to the UAE following a spate of high-profile cases of expatriates’ falling foul of the UAE’s rules on public behaviour.
The defendant is entitled to lodge a final appeal within 30 days.