Two Italian women have had their two-month prison sentences and deportation orders reversed, after it turns out there were many irregularities in how they were arrested and questioned for kissing in public – not to mention what actually occurred.

After being stitched up by a man who went running to security in a food court of a Dubai mall, the women were apprehended by security. The witness said they had exchanged a kiss for over a minute, when it later transpired that one of them had a bit of mayonnaise round her mouth and the other, in a moment of sheer madness, licked it off her face. The act was over and done with in a matter of seconds.

Overturned

Having initially been found guilty, their lawyer Ali Abdullah Al Shamsi, got the sentence overturned after uncovering the fact that they were questioned by an unauthorised translator. Even before that, they had been detained by the mall’s security guards. These are things that contravene the complex legal framework involved in such a case.

A lesson

The lesson here though is more pertinent than ever – don’t risk it. Don’t even touch anyone in public ever. Because, although this isn’t something exclusive to Dubai, we live in a world where there are an awful lot of people with nothing better to do than run around sticking their noses into other people’s business. And a worrying amount of people that go running and telling on you if they see you do something they don’t like, no matter how innocent. A casual spontaneous moment of affection or flirtatious behaviour is best saved for behind closed doors.

The witness’ intentions are unclear, nobody is certain what he was getting out of it, but his tale was eventually unravelled and found to be contradictory, so the Italian ladies are now nearly in the clear. Although the witness, if he really feels strongly about it, could try to get the Cassation Court to give their interpretation of the law within the next 30 days to see if he can get the sentence re-imposed and wave goodbye to the mayo enthusiasts… Time will tell if this idea is something he finds appealing.