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Another Brit faces jail in Dubai

Simon Andrews, 56, could be sent down for six months for ‘flicking the finger’ at an Iraqi student.

March 30, 2010 1:03 by

Yet another British citizen is facing jail time in Dubai – this time for allegedly making an ‘obscene’ gesture.

Simon Andrews, 56, is accused of “flicking the finger” at an Iraqi aviation student called Mahmud Rasheed.

The British man faces six months in jail in Dubai if found guilty, according to a report in in the The Sun newspaper.

Andrews allegedly made the gesture after losing his temper during a heated row with Rasheed. The Iraqi complained to police who immediately arrested Simon for public indecency, banning Andrews from leaving the country.

Andrews reportedly protested his innocence before a judge in a hearing that took place on Sunday. The case was adjourned until April 4.

The news follows a string of incidents of British tourists and expats being arrested in Dubai. One of the most high-profile cases was the ‘sex on the beach’ couple Vince Acors and Michelle Palmer, who were accused of having intercourse on the emirate’s Jumeirah Beach.

Sex and the emirate
Dubai, sex and the law
Bye-bye Michelle
Stumbling on criticism

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  1. Miss Anne Thropic on March 30, 2010 6:22 am

    Sigh, here we go again… Giving someone the finger isn’t the most polite thing to do anywhere in the world but six months jail? Madness.

  2. Basel A-Shaban on March 30, 2010 7:50 am

    This is the law in Dubai. In the UK and the US there are legal consequence too for obscene gestures. Why are we surprised when xpats get prosecuted when they violate the law in Dubai? Dubai Code of Conduct have been published (online) by the Government of Dubai, The Executive Council. The aim of said code is establish guidelines and laws that will set the standards for social ethics and mutual respect that shall be followed by all of Dubai citizens, residents and visitors in respect of the Emirate’s culture, religion and habits. Appendices 1 clearly states the offense and the associated penalty of such offense. This applies to all including UAE citizens. The question here is this, do we get upset that we violated the law or do we get upset that we got caught violating the law?

  3. Tony Saliba on March 30, 2010 8:14 am

    Usual stuff from Brits . Either drunk , scandalous or not adhering to foreign customs

  4. Ahmad on March 30, 2010 8:22 am

    The alleged perpetrator denies doing it and the Iraqi guy hasnt even showed up in court, Its basically his word against the Brit’s.
    Its funny how killing people through reckless driving is seen as less bad than an offensive gesture, as bad as it may be.
    As a Muslim, I know its not Muslim culture, maybe something else.

  5. AA on March 30, 2010 8:50 am

    Agree completely with Basel, these laws may seem extreme but i’d rather live in a city that doesn’t condone lewd behaviour.

    6 months may seem like a lot of time, but he’ll definitely be sent off with a slap on the wrist….i’m sure it would be blown out of proportion by the media by the time.

  6. Sarah Daniels on March 30, 2010 9:11 am

    In response to previous coments. These lectures from high and mighties about Dubai and its law are becoming tiresome. Anyone that has a thread of understanding of the legal processes here realises it is arbitrary and utterly bias, this is why cases such as the recent one regarding the local Immigration Officer was acquitted from receiving bribes and having sexual relations with a married woman, which I thought was supposed to be one of the ultimate crimes. It is a system where there are no clear cut definitions, and whats more what did this aviation student do or say in order for this situation to arise, we don’t know all the facts.. I wonder what forms Simon Andrews was forced to sign in Arabic… probably something self incriminating without translation. Absurdist..

  7. Miss Anne Thropic on March 30, 2010 9:26 am

    It is one thing for a society to not condone lewd behaviour but quite another for the same society to have an absurd, illogical, arbitrary system of justice.

  8. Andrew on March 30, 2010 10:00 am

    I regularly make both one and two fingered salutes, but only to those who are already conducting one-way communication with myself.

  9. Mike on March 30, 2010 12:32 pm

    This is ridiculous. All over the world people give the middle finger and can be seen as impolite, yet, you cannot give a man 6 months in jail for doing that. This is not freedom of speech. If I want to give the middle finger to someone, it’s my gesture. it’s my thought whether its polite or not. Think of me as an ignorant bastard. But 6 months in jail for doing that?
    What’s next?
    Dubai is becoming ridiculous. Last night I accompanied my wife to the airport and gave her a hug and a peck on the lips wishing her a “pleasant trip” and I must say we both felt inadequate as the police started shouting and threatened to arrest us. I promise you it was nothing. I remember seeing ads in the UK and all over Europe that Dubai is the next place for honeymooners. I guarantee you this is becoming a nightmare…
    These cases are growing to a pace that is scary and these guys that are coming up with these “effed” up laws are ruining the future of this country by imposing laws that are so shortsighted that eventually will kill the economy of this once up and rising country.
    A friend of mine who’s sister is 19 years old which was born and bread in Dubai but of Pakistani origin has been deprived of her passport for telling a local lady to “eff off” as she cut her way while driving risking her life as well as the passenger’s. The local lady called the police, denounced the fact and next thing you know, this poor girl was deprived of her passport and risked deportation to a country she’s never even been!
    Islam is not this. Islam promotes tolerance and not oppression and this is what Dubai should show and not the other way around. Expats indeed respect the Islamic culture but it should also be the other way around as in Europe and everywhere else in the world.
    A pity…….

  10. jamal on March 30, 2010 2:13 pm

    The problem here is if this was an Indian or Arab it woudn’t reach the news, but when it’s an American or British etc the media makes it into a war.

    What’s the big deal here? If an Arab gets caught in the US you won’t see the media crying like what you’re seeing here. But when an expat is caught, all hell breaks loose.

    It’s simple respect for the law. If you don’t like it then DON’T COME – we don’t need your kind here. If you’re caught, don’t whine and say “this is wrong”. You are supposed to know the law before going to a country.

    It dosnt matter how may complaints you make, Dubai will never change the law. If you want to have sex on the beach do it in your own filthy country.

    Many expats are happy in Dubai: good jobs, no tax, etc. But some just come here and make false accusations like what happened some time ago when a British woman said that she had been raped.

  11. Miss Anne Thropic on March 30, 2010 2:37 pm

    I have no idea why anyone would want to honeymoon in Dubai, regardless of the laws. Al Maha Desert Resort notwithstanding, the city of Dubai is about as romantic as dinner at McDonalds.

  12. Andrew on March 30, 2010 3:55 pm

    Jamal rolling out the reciprocal version of the old “If you don’t like it, leave” chesnut there.

    Also Jamal, if you call someone’s country “filthy” you’re liable to get a lot more than a finger waved out a you … a fist in the jaw, one hopes. I hope for your sake you’ve got the sense of mind not to say something that idiotic in public, as you might say it around someone like myself who won’t take kindly to such remarks.


  13. Dave on March 30, 2010 5:24 pm

    Jamal, what proof is there that the guy is guilty?
    Its just an Iraqi teen’s word against his, and the Iraqi guy could be lying judging by my experience with many Arab expats.

  14. Miss Anne Thropic on March 30, 2010 10:24 pm

    Jamal, even the most jaded expat thinks the sex-on-the-beach couple were idiots. Public sex is illegal pretty much everywhere, even in my filthy home country…

  15. Mushark on March 31, 2010 6:26 am

    In Dubai some Brits stared to act like YOBS in London streets..Please stay away from the peaceful society of Dubai!

  16. Ahmed on March 31, 2010 10:06 am

    Not meaning to preach or assume the high ground here, just a bit of common sense in my humble opinion…
    I think it’s a shame that I see so many people start to become offensive to one another on these forums. Irrespective of nationality, race etc. everyone has a mix of good, bad, intelligent and the less so among their respective societies.

    Bottom line, people should not use the opportunity to use these comment forums to make sweeping statements and stereotype all Brits, Arabs etc., not every Brit is a yob and not every Arab a liar…it’s a big mix.

    Re the justice system, it’ll get there…there are injustices committed all over the world everyday, in the East and the West, some more obvious than others.

    Not everything always makes sense unfortunately, but it is what it is…let’s all just live in peace and harmony!!

  17. Andrew on March 31, 2010 11:49 am

    Ahmed trying to deprive me of my fun here.

  18. Mike on April 1, 2010 9:07 am

    Unfortunately it’s people like Jamal that ruin societies. that promote intolerance… that promote racism.
    All we are saying is that Dubai gave us all a great opportunity and we appreciate that. And since WE, AS EXPATS, HELPED THIS COUNTRY GROW… we have a right to give our opinion to make it a better place. OUR FILTHY COUNTRIES? Dude…. seriously…. you should learn from history and culture… after all this place is only 35 years old…. Filthy or not filthy, you should learn from our mistakes as well as our glory to make this a better place… and not stick to poor judgements…
    Think about it… Jamal…


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