UAE legal Q&As: The laws for child molesters

What does the penal code say about people wearing indecent clothing in shopping centres, and what is the penalty for such an offence?

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Why is there no special provision in the penal code for child abusers and molesters? I noticed that punishment for sexual assaults against children and adults are the same. As a lawyer, do you think that a separate law for child molestation, with harsher penalties, would be a strong deterrent to those who might be tempted to carry out such despicable acts?

A: The penalties for rape and sexual abuse differ if the victim is less than 14 years of age. Article 354 in its entirety states: "Without prejudice to the provision of the law of delinquents and neglected juveniles, any individual who forcibly compels a female to carnal copulation or a man to sodomy shall be sentenced to death. Coercion shall exist if, at the moment of commission of crime, the victim is under 14 years of age." Article 363 of the federal penal code, on incitement to debauchery or prostitution, also states that if a victim is under the age of 18, an increased penalty of detention for a minimum of two years, up from one, and a fine will apply. There are also several more legal articles that make a point of distinguishing between adult and juvenile victims, however, it would be preferable to have a separate law that sets special penalties for child molesters.

Q: If I had a minor car accident but was in a hurry, so could not wait for the police but I gave all my numbers and my labour card to the other party to give to the police so that they could reach me, or instead agreed with the other party not to call police and talk to me later to settle the matter. Am I in trouble?

A: Car accidents are seen as offences and concern the right of the affected party, whether they suffer personal injury or damage to the car. The affected party has the right to waive his civil rights and settle the matter amicably, though it's noteworthy that to have a damaged car repaired, it is necessary to have a police accident report. A person in a hurry can ask the other party if they would agree to meet at a police station to complete procedures, but if there is public damage, to road barriers for example, the driver at fault may not leave.

Q: Is there an article of the penal code that condemns people with indecent clothing in shopping malls and centres? If so, which article is it and what is the penalty for such an offence?

A: Wearing indecent attire is an act of public indecency punishable under Article 358 of the penal code. It is considered to be an intentional act of indecency. Visitors to shopping malls and public places must wear modest attire and refrain from wearing indecent clothing. Failing to adhere to rules of modesty is punishable with six months in prison, as per Article 358.

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