x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Unmarried Sharjah couple arrested for living together

In a tough new campaign, Sharjah police are going door-to-door looking for couples living illegally out of wedlock, a senior officer says.

SHARJAH // Police are going door-to-door looking for couples living illegally out of wedlock, a senior officer said today. Officers have already arrested one couple, an unmarried Arab man and Asian woman living together in al Qadissiya, after the tough new campaign started on Monday. They say they will initially target Sharjah's most densely populated residential areas before spreading the net to include the whole emirate. Policemen and women are knocking on doors and demanding to see paperwork proving that couples under the same roof are married. "Eventually we managed to find one couple of an Arab man and an Asian woman illegally staying together, the couple also had two children, one was two years and another one was four," said Brig Musa al Naqbi the head of Sharjah Police CID. Couples found to be flouting the law will be referred to public prosecutors, and according to lawyers, could face lashes under the emirate's strict Sharia laws. "First of all we need to know that such cases are not guided by criminal laws but by Sharia law," said Salah Mabrouk, a Dubai based lawyer who works in Sharjah courts. "In Sharia law the punishment for a fornicator is different to one of an adulterer, a fornicator is lashed 100 lashes while an adulterer is stoned to death."

ykakande@thenational.ae