x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Student's indecency sentence reduced

A student convicted of having consensual homosexual relations had his sentence reduced yesterday from three years to one on appeal.

DUBAI // A student convicted of public indecency, cross-dressing, homosexuality, insulting a religious creed and having consensual homosexual relations had his sentence reduced yesterday from three years to one on appeal. M N, a 22-year-old Emirati, was sentenced by Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance in March. He was arrested on July 20 last year as he travelled to Europe with his male partner, another Emirati, who had been convicted of homosexuality and sentenced to a year in jail.

M N's lawyer told Dubai Court of Appeals that procedures used in his client's arrest and the search of his home were illegal. Yasser al Naqbi argued that police arrested M N with an undated warrant that did not specify when it could be used. Police recovered pornographic material that featured the defendant when they searched his home. Prosecutors also accused him of posing dressed in a hijab while reading the Quran.

The nature of the offences was such that M N had asked to be isolated from the general prison population if his jail term were upheld. The appellate court is expected to issue the reasons behind its decision in two days. @Email:amustafa@thenational.ae