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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 June 2018

UAE court sentences two Singaporeans to jail for cross-dressing 

Two Singaporeans, one of whom is transgender, have been sentenced to one year in prison in Abu Dhabi for charges linked to their appearance.

Fashion photographer Muhammad Fadli Abdul Rahman, 26, and Nur Qistina Fitriah Ibrahim, 37, were arrested on August 9 in a shopping centre. An official court document explains that the two "Singaporean men were caught for wearing women's clothes in public and for behaving indecently".

A spokesperson from the Singapore Embassy in Abu Dhabi confirmed on Friday that "the embassy is taking all necessary actions to ensure their continued well-being while in custody".

Fadli arrived in the country for work the day before the arrest. Fitriah, also known among family and friends as Fifi, was accompanying Fadli on the trip.

“Officials from the embassy met both Singaporeans on August 23, while also attending their bail hearing on Thursday," a spokesperson for the Singapore ministry of foreign affairs said.

"This was the embassy’s fourth meeting with the two Singaporeans since their arrest. The first meeting took place on the same day the embassy was notified of their case on August 10," said the spokesperson.

The Singapore ministry of foreign affairs confirmed that the embassy will "continue to provide the necessary consular assistance and has been closely monitoring developments to ensure that due process is accorded to them". It is in close contact with the families of the two Singaporeans.

The spokesperson reminded Singaporeans that they should "respect and abide by the local laws when they travel overseas”. Article 358 of the penal code criminalises "indecent attire" as an act of public indecency.