x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Sex crime student in isolation cell plea

An Emirati student convicted of cross-dressing and homosexuality asks to be kept away from the general prison population if an appeals court upholds his jail sentence.

DUBAI // An Emirati student convicted of public indecency, cross-dressing, homosexuality, insulting a religious creed and consensual homosexual relations has asked to be kept in protective custody away from the general prison population if an appeals court upholds his jail sentence. MN, 22, was sentenced to three years in prison by the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance in March after he appeared in pornographic pictures distributed online. He was arrested at Dubai International Airport on July 20 last year with his male partner, who has been convicted of homosexuality and sentenced to one year in prison.

Yaser al Naqbi, MN's lawyer, pressed for his acquittal in his closing arguments yesterday, arguing that his arrest and the subsequent search of his home had been improperly conducted. "He was arrested with an illegal warrant," Mr al Naqbi told the Dubai Court of Appeals. "Police searched his house with a warrant that did not clarify when it was issued or could be used." Pornographic material featuring MN was recovered in a police search of his home. Images were circulated online of MN dressed in a hijab and reading the Quran.

He is currently on bail awaiting the verdict, expected on July 20. amustafa@thenational.ae