A group of Ukrainian models and a Russian male photographer involved in a naked photoshoot in Dubai have been identified and arrested as photos of the participants continue to emerge online.
The group of eleven women and the man face public debauchery and other charges for violating the draconian laws of the conservative kingdom, reports the BBC.
The charge carries a sentence of up to six months in prison and a fine of 5,000 dirhams, or USD $1,500.
Many laws in the United Arab Emirates are based on Sharia law, which has seen people jailed in the past for public displays of affection, same-sex relationships and preaching non-Muslim religions.
The controversy surrounding the nude photoshoot erupted after about a dozen nude models were photographed on a balcony overlooking Dubai’s Marina distict, with images of the defiant act going viral online and outraging conservative elements in the UAE.
Images have since emerged showing some of the tattooed models posing in skimpy swimwear in various locales, including on skyscraper balconies.
While earlier reports that the women were Russian have since been debunked, RIA news agency has confirmed that the shoot was organized by a Russian national, who now faces up to 18 months in prison. The Daily Mail has identified the man as Alexey Konstov.
Dubai police have issued a stern warning that those publishing “pornographic material” in any form “may prejudice public morals” and face stiff penalties.
“Such unacceptable behaviors do not reflect the values and ethics of Emirati society,” the police statement added.
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