The government of Dubai is scheduled to deport 11 Ukrainian models taken in by authorities for public indecency after they participated in a nude photoshoot on a high-rise balcony resulting in images that became a viral sensation, reports say.
Officials in the United Arab Emirates arrested the Ukrainian beauties along with one male photographer from Russia and charged them with public debauchery and developing pornographic images.
Radha Stirling, director of Detained in Dubai, initially said the risqué stunt was part of a promotion for an Israeli porn channel.
“Initially we were being told that it was the Israeli branch of a US adult website and now we are hearing that it’s an Israeli porn channel,” Stirling said to the UK publication Metro.
“People are very upset about it, the expat communities are upset, including the British nationals. They think what these people were trying to do was quite vile, knowing full well the laws in relation to exposure are strict in the UAE,” Stirling added.
“People have been arrested for wearing T-shirts deemed to be offensive yet they were out there in plain sight of the rest of the buildings.”
Photos of the public spectacle involving the naked girls left a mark throughout social media and horrified the notoriously delicate tastes of the UAE royals and religious leaders in a country where the law is based on Sharia, or Islamic law, and has been responsible for legally inconveniencing foreigners for things that might seem banal in the West.
On Tuesday, Dubai’s Attorney General Essam Issa al-Humaidan made a statement regarding the provocative photo shoot saying that everyone involved will be deported back to their countries of origin, without getting into further detail.
Legal representatives, police, and officers of the court in Dubai have refused to give the names of the people being held, but one model was named by The Sun as Yana Graboshchuk, a 27-year-old native of Ukraine, who was busted thanks to some unique body art on her hindquarters that seems to match photos on her social media.
The family of the identified Ukrainian hottie explained they thought she was on a vacation and said they were astonished that she was involved in the Middle Eastern scandal being reported in newspapers throughout the world.
“She went on holiday, and then I don’t know what came next,” Graboshchuk’s 20-year-old brother Taras said to the press. “Yes, she had planned a photo shoot there … But I had no more information about it.”
The quick decision from government officials is uncommon for the Dubai legal system, where cases such as this usually go to trial or are otherwise adjudicated before deportation proceedings.
“The public prosecutor ordered the deportation of the accused for their behavior contrary to public morals,” al-Humaidan stated before confirming that the models had been charged with breaking the public decency law.
The controversy all began a few short days before Ramadan, the high holy month on the Muslim calendar, and during an official state visit from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in nearby Doha, Qatar.
In recent years, Dubai has advertised itself as a popular getaway for Russians on vacation.
The typically pro-Russian news source Life labeled the Russian man who was detained with the models as the head of an information technology company, but the firm has denied that he was involved in any way with the international mishap.
Stanislav Voskresensky, the governor of the Ivanovo region the company works out of, made a request to the Russian Foreign Ministry and Russia’s ambassador to the UAE to help the man in any way they could.
“We don’t abandon our own,” Voskresensky posted on his social media.
Despite the fact that the UAE has made legal adjustments to lure tourists and investors, such as permitting unmarried couples to bunk-up in hotel rooms together and residents to consume alcohol without a license, the Islamic nation’s justice system still imposes harsh penalties for violations of the public decency law.
The penalty for the charges the group faces can be up to six months in prison and a fine of almost $1,500.