A group who took part in a naked video shoot on a balcony in Dubai face possible prison sentences under strict laws.
A group of young women who appeared naked for a ‘brazen’ daylight shoot on a balcony in Dubai could face sentences of up two years in prison, a campaign group has said.
More than a dozen models taking part in the scenes have been arrested for offences including public debauchery after the video emerged on Saturday. They now face possible jail terms under ‘severe’ rules following the video and photo shoot on a high-rise glass balcony in the city’s flashy Marina neighbourhood.
In the social media footage, a woman in a green dress and high heels can be seen taking the women’s pictures as a person films the antics from a balcony in a neighbouring high rise.
The models in the naked photoshoot are said to have been part of a publicity stunt for an Israeli website
Radha Stirling, Director and Founder of Detained in Dubai, told Metro.co.uk: ‘Initially we were being told that it was the Israeli branch of a US adult website and now we are hearing that it’s an Israeli porn channel. ‘We have been told it’s a mixture of nationalities involved with the British Embassy not said to have been notified of any Brits asking for consular assistance as of yesterday. ‘It’s a pretty brazen and severe crime to stand out there on the balcony where everyone could see them and people on other balconies could film them for footage which has gone viral.
‘People are very upset about it, the ex-pat communities are upset, including the British nationals. ‘They think what these people were trying to do was quite vile, knowing full well the laws in relation to exposure are strict in the UAE. People have been arrested for wearing T-shirts deemed to be offensive yet they were out there in plain sight of the rest of the buildings.
‘If it turns out to be an Israeli porn company and the embassy of Israel is involved, then they might do a deal of some sort but if went straight down the line they could face having to pay several hundred thousand dirham in fines and a couple of years in prison.’
The group was arrested after posing naked on a high-rise balcony in the middle of the day (Picture: Twitter/Mr Freeze)
Dubai has a fine line between what takes place behind closed doors and its outward sense of public decency, a campaign group has said.
The non-governmental organisation has said that those rounded up face violations ranging from outraging public decency and debauchery to crimes under the UAE’s strict cybercrime laws which prohibit the sharing of pornographic or offensive material. The group has asked the Israeli foreign ministry if any of its citizens were arrested and says it was told ‘no’ but received no reply when it further enquired if any of its nationals were involved in the filming. In separate reports, the models were said to have been mainly from the Ukraine, with others from further parts of the ex-Soviet Union, including Belarus, Moldova and Russia.
A Russian man believed to have organised the shoot is said to have been among those detained, although it’s not clear where the footage was due to be published. Ms Stirling told Metro.co.uk: ‘Simply sharing the video in a private message or on WhatsApp will have made them liable to prosecution. Even if they are ultimately found innocent, the courts are very delayed so they could be waiting for days, weeks or even months just to put their case.’ Ms Stirling, who is based in London, drew a distinction between a debauched side to the desert kingdom, which is the capital city of the UAE, and the conservative outward image the rulers seek to uphold. ‘You do see prostitutes in hotel lobbies, people consuming alcohol and you do see some pretty offensive behaviour take place,’ she said.
‘This can be very confusing to tourists in a country which has such strict rules and where people have been arrested for holding hands in public, kissing and other displays of affection. ‘On the surface, it seems like a modern party place but once a complaint is made it’s taken very seriously.
If it’s an Israeli company they may not have been as aware of what is acceptable and what is not as they haven’t had the Dubai media exposure over the past decade that we have.’ A statement from Dubai police read: ‘Such unacceptable behaviours do not reflect the values and ethics of Emirati society.’ The case has been referred to prosecutors for legal action, the message posted on Twitter said. Public nudity and other forms of ‘lewd behaviour’ fall under the UAE’s public decency laws.
Sharing pornographic material is also punishable with prison time and hefty fines under the country’s laws, which are based on Islamic law, or Sharia.