Dubai announced Tuesday it will deport the Russian organizer of and 11 Ukrainian women involved in a salacious photoshoot on a high-rise balcony.
The swift deportation is rare for the Muslim sheikhdom, where cases of public debauchery and producing pornography usually go to trial, according to the Associated Press. Those arrested had faced up to six months in jail and fines of up to $1,500 for “lewd behavior” under the United Arab Emirates’ laws, which are based on Shariah law.
But Dubai’s Attorney General Essam Issa al-Humaidan announced that prosecutors had finished their investigations and will deport all those involved, the Dubai government’s Twitter account said.
Russian and Ukrainian authorities confirmed the arrests of their citizens after the nude photoshoot scandal broke out, but the Russian organizer’s identity was not immediately clear.
The AP said a pro-Kremlin tabloid identified him as the head of an IT firm based in the Ivanovo region east of Moscow, though his firm denied his involvement.
Ivanovo Governor Stanislav Voskresensky had reportedly asked Russia’s Foreign Ministry and its ambassador to the UAE for assistance.
“We don’t abandon our own,” Voskresensky was quoted as saying on social media.
Dubai police announced arrests on public debauchery charges after video and photos of several naked women posing on the high-rise balcony in the upscale Marina neighborhood made the rounds on social media late Saturday.
Russia’s consulate general in the UAE previously speculated that Dubai could pardon all those involved in honor of Ramadan, a holy month in the Muslim calendar.
Though comparatively more liberal than its Middle Eastern neighbors, the UAE has imprisoned people for milder offenses like kissing in public or drinking alcohol without a license.