Monday, 22 June 2009

Dubai police will not curb freedoms

From Gulf News 22 June '09
- To refresh your memory of what is considered offensive or obscene in Dubai, please revisit the Dubai Code of Conduct.
- The article from The Independent (UK) about money from Somali pirates being laundered in Dubai is here.
Dubai Police do not restrict the freedom of the diverse communities here, but there are red lines that must not be crossed because the UAE, an Islamic Arab country, prides itself in its rich values, said a senior official.
Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Deputy Chief of Dubai Police, told Gulf News in an exclusive interview that it is not the duty of police to interrogate or interfere with couples in Dubai, but if they are spotted committing obscene actions then they will intervene. His comments come after several incidents of public indecency, which prompted the British Foreign Office to issue a travel advisory for its citizens.
"I think it is clear to the average person what is meant by obscene. There are red lines that must not be crossed. The country has its values and traditions which cannot be overlooked to satisfy others," Al Mazeina said.
The slight increase in financial crimes, he said, is not related to the financial crisis.
"We had cases of forged credit cards from abroad which were used in Dubai. Dubai Police have urged banks to issue credit cards with pin codes for all transactions to reduce counterfeit cases," he said.
Al Mazeina said traffic fines have been raised because tougher fines help reduce accidents.
He said a Dh100 or Dh200 fine was not a deterrent because living standards are high here. Now a single fine can amount to Dh1,000. Statistics show that tougher fines and more radars have reduced accidents significantly.
He also quashed rumours that Chechen commander Sulim Yamadayev who was shot in March in the car park of an apartment block in Dubai is still alive. Yamadayev was a foe of Kremlin-backed Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.
In response to a report by a British newspaper, he stressed that Somali pirates' money is not laundered through Dubai. The Independent said vast sums of ransom money that the pirates received were laundered in Dubai and other GCC countries.
He said some sections want to tarnish the image of the UAE by spreading vicious rumours.

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