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July 2009    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 24, No. 7   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Dive Instructor Jailed for Being Alone With Her Boss

from the July, 2009 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Diving on the Arabian Peninsula won’t appeal if you’re looking for a little extra attention from the dive staff. Roxanne Hillier, a South African dive instructor who was working in the United Arab Emirates, was jailed for three months after being found guilty of being alone in the same room with her male boss and of having sex out of wedlock. Hillier, 22, had been living and working at a dive operation in Khorfakkan in the Emirate of Sharjah, since November. In mid-May, police raided the operation, arresting Hillier, 22, and her boss on sex-related charges. This happened despite medical tests that showed no sign of sex, and despite Hillier not even being in the same room as the guy at the time of their arrest. After little more than a kangaroo court hearing, she was sentenced to jail with deportation, while her boss, a local, received a six-month sentence.

Her case is not an isolated one in the UAE. A young, drunk and unmarried British couple was arrested for having sex on a public beach in Dubai last year. A British citizen was jailed after immigration authorities found a few tiny poppy seeds (that’s what heroin is made from) stuck to his jacket; he had purchased a bread roll at Heathrow airport to eat on the flight. People have also been jailed for bringing in prescription codeine cough syrup and melatonin, and one unfortunate chap got a four-year prison sentence when a shred of cannabis the size of a sugar grain was detected stuck to the bottom of his shoe.

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