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Judicial CP - June 2001
Gulf News, Dubai, 15 June 2001
Freed prisoners pledge to lead respectful livesBy Bassma Jandaly
Prisoners released from Sharjah jails said the initiative of President His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to set them free has encouraged them to turn over a new leaf.
Gulf News spoke to some who said they had learnt a lot from their experiences in jail. They said that they will start new careers and change their way of thinking and living. One 15-year-old girl from Kalba said she was kept at the Sharjah Rehabilitation Centre for 11 months and received 90 lashes because she was involved in a sexual relationship with a man.
"My release was a real surprise for me. I have decided to start a new life. I will resume my studies at school. I was studying at the second secondary school level when I was arrested. I will go to another school where nobody will know me or anything about my past," she said.
She said she deeply regretted her sin and she will never ever commit it again. "I used to have a 23-year-old boyfriend with whom I had a sexual relationship. I was in my fifth month of pregnancy when I started vomiting. My mother took me to a governmental hospital where she was shocked when she was told that I had been pregnant for months.
"I had taken some tablets from my boyfriend who told me that they would help me to get rid of the foetus. However, I fell very sick when I took the tablets, so my mother took me to the hospital for treatment. The doctor then reported the case to police who arrested me."
Her UAE national boyfriend fled to Syria, where he was also arrested. "I will try to be a good girl after the huge pain I experienced and the disgrace I caused to my family." Another 15-year-old girl said she had a sexual relationship with her 18-year-old national boyfriend. She went out with him every day. She became pregnant and was caught by police at his house. She was sent to the Sharjah Rehabilitation Centre for one year and received 100 lashes.
"One day I went to his house. We stayed together until late at night. My family got worried about me, so they informed the police. When my boyfriend heard that the police were searching for me, he called the police and we were both arrested."
She added that she will start a new life and is planning to get married to a relative. Her future husband knows everything about her and that she is in her ninth month of pregnancy. She said he has even agreed to keep the child with him and give it his name.
Gulf News, Dubai, 24 June 2001
Preacher lashed, deported for cohabitationBy Nasouh Nazzal
In Ras Al Khaimah
The Imam (preacher) of a mosque here has been sentenced to one month in prison and 90 lashes followed by deportation for spending time alone with a woman. Killa Mohammed was arrested at a friend's home alone with housemaid N. Jihan.
The police raided the home after being tipped off and arrested the man and the woman and later the owner of the home. The Imam, an Indian, and the housemaid were accused of adultery. But after the case went to the Sharia Court, the charge against the Imam and the housemaid was changed to cohabitation, which also violates Islamic teachings.
The Imam, the housemaid and the homeowner said that the Imam had been called to treat the housemaid for psychological problems by reciting the Holy Quran. The Public Prosecutor was unable to prove adultery since the Imam had not confessed to it and there were no witnesses.
At least three nationals who knew the Imam well told the court that the Imam would not commit such a crime and that his reputation for treating psychological problems with recitations from the Holy Quran was well known. They provided photographs showing that the Imam had devoted his life to promoting Islam and had sponsored the opening of several mosques in India.
The court did not take that into consideration and sentenced the Imam to 90 lashes. But the court was satisfied with the one month the Imam had spent behind bars and ordered him deported. The housemaid was sentenced to 150 lashes in three sessions and the owner of the home was sentenced to 90.
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