2 Singaporeans convicted of cross-dressing in Abu Dhabi have jail term reduced to a fine

2 Singaporeans convicted of cross-dressing in Abu Dhabi have jail term reduced to a fine
Fashion photographer Muhammad Fadli bin Abdul Rahman (R) and transgender friend, Nur Vitriya Kistina Ibrahim.
PHOTO: Facebook

The two Singaporean men who were sentenced to one year imprisonment for cross-dressing in conservative Abu Dhabi had their punishment reduced to a fine yesterday (Aug 27), according to The National.

Now, fashion photographer Muhammad Fadli Abdul Rahman, 26, and Nur Qistina Fitriah Ibrahim, 37, have to pay a fine of Dh10,000 (S$3,690) each. Both were nabbed by the police on August 9 in a mall "for wearing women's clothes in public and for behaving indecently", according to court documents.

Article 358 of the UAE penal code criminalises "indecent attire" as an act of public indecency.

On Sunday, an official told The National that the charges had been reduced, so they were fined instead and would be deported to Singapore.

Rights activists in Singapore met their target of raising $25,000 in an online crowd-funding campaign to help pay for their legal fees and related expenses last Friday, according to their Facebook page.

Nur Ibrahim is a transgender who had legally changed her name in Singapore but has yet to undergo a sex-change operation. Nur was accompanying Muhammad Rahman on the trip. Muhammad arrived in the United Arab Emirates capital for work the day before the arrest.

Officials from the Singapore Embassy in Abu Dhabi have met them four times "to ensure their continued well-being while in custody", according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs last Friday (Aug 25).

"Singaporeans are also reminded that they should respect and abide by the local laws when they travel overseas," MFA added.

chenj@sph.com.sg

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