A Belgian man has been sentenced to a year in jail after his gay Filipino partner fell to his death from the window of their Dubai apartment.
But despite the dying man reportedly using his final breaths to say he was pushed out of the window by his lover, the Belgian has been jailed for homosexuality, not murder.
According to a report in United Arab Emirates newspaper, The National, the 25-year-old Filipino was spotted hanging from the window sill of a building on 24 September last year.
The building is just behind Al Muraqqabat police station, in Deira in the heart of eastern Dubai. But before help could arrive, he lost his grip and fell.
Once on the ground and in severe pain, the man, known only as ‘AM’ told a passer-by that ‘PH’, a 24-year-old from Belgium had thrown him from the window.
He was then taken to Rashid Hospital where he died shortly afterwards.
The Dubai Misdemeanor Court heard that, when questioned by police, the Belgian denied killing the Filipino.
Instead he said the dead man had locked himself in the kitchen after becoming upset by an argument the pair had. PH claimed the Filipino then threw himself out of the window.
PH did admit to police that the pair had been having a sexual relationship but told them he had broken it off.
The National reports that prosecutors felt there was insufficient evidence for a murder charge against PH so referred him to the misdemeanor court.
That court found him guilty today (6 June) of having consensual gay sex and sentenced him to a year in jail, to be followed by deportation.
‘Shamil’ from the United Arab Emirates LGBT group and Gulf region editor for GayMiddleEast told GSN: ‘This is insane. Charging someone for a sexual relationship with someone who is already dead is no justice at all. It’s a direct blow, using the law as a tool of anti-LGBT hate.’
Homosexuality is illegal in the Emirate of Dubai, article 177 of the penal code imposes up to 10 years in prison for consensual gay sex.
However past sentences have varied widely. In April this year, two men, one from Britain and one from the Seychelles, each received three years jail for having ‘drunken gay sex’. But in that same month, two Bangaleshi men were sentenced to six months prison and deportation for sex in a public toilet.
Homophobia and criminalization continues to plague the Emirates. Just a week ago reports emerged of a man who killed a maid by hitting her over the head with a frying pan after she threatened to report him to the police for homosexuality.