Dubai fireman on trial for ‘gay’ handshake

Firefighter has been accused of giving a handshake to his colleague described as 'perverted' and 'insulting'

Dubai fireman on trial for ‘gay’ handshake
13 November 2013

A Dubai fireman has gone to trial accused of a ‘gay’ handshake.

The Court of Misdemeanors was told the defendant had allegedly stroked his colleague’s palm with his middle finger as the pair shook hands.

The court was told the gesture was insulting and insinuated the recipient was gay.

Prosecutors accused the 39-year-old fireman of repeatedly mocking the 30-year-old ‘victim’ at the station where they worked for Dubai Civil Defense.

‘He always said in front of others that I’m gay,’ the plaintiff said.

‘One day he shook my hand in a perverted way by rubbing his middle finger on my palm while shaking hands.’

When the man complained to his boss about the incident, an internal investigation was carried out and the defendant was given a warning.

The man felt it was not harsh enough, so he complained to police.

‘I was transferred to another station and then the defendant became head of the old station,’ the victim added.

‘He asked me to come back and said if I didn’t he would hurt me.’

The Emirati defendant claims the colleague had only lodged the case because he had a grudge against him.

‘He doesn’t have any evidence against me,’ he said. ‘I never gave him a perverted handshake.’

In the United Arab Emirates, punishments for being gay range from jail time and fines to deportation and the death penalty.

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