Authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) detained an engaged Western couple for illegal sex outside marriage in late January after the woman became pregnant.
The South African man and Ukrainian woman were arrested after the woman was raced to the hospital for stomach cramps, and her pregnancy was discovered. They were taken straight from the hospital to the police station and appear to still be in custody, according to the woman’s mother.
Having sex outside marriage is illegal in Dubai, even for Westerners. “The only thing they did which was wrong, was to fall in love. It makes no sense,” the man’s mother told News24.
Emirati authorities transferred the couple to a major prison in Abu Dhabi and are now trying to determine the paternity of the child, how long the couple was having sex, and the STD status of both. The couple have been together for nearly three years, and are longtime residents of the UAE.
The South African government told News24 there is nothing they can do about the situation other than monitor it and hope their citizen is “fairly treated.”
The case is reminiscent of the 2008 arrest of two British citizens found having sex on the beach in Dubai. Both were jailed for nearly three months, heavily fined, and then deported from the country.
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