1280px-Dubai_constr_workersUnited Arab Emirates: A court in the United Arab Emirates has upheld a six month jail term for two men who are alleged to have had sex with each other.

State-run newspaper The National is reporting that the Federal Supreme Court has upheld a sentence against the two men, who had previously been convicted of intentionally committing acts of “sodomy,” said pinknews.co.uk.

The men, who are both Muslim, told the court they denied the charges, and that they were coerced by police into confessing to the crime.

The prosecution reports said there was “forensic evidence” that the men had sex. It demanded the court to penalize them as per Shariah laws.

They will face deportation after serving their sentence.

The unnamed men were previously found guilty of sodomy charges at the First Instance Court in Ajman. The Ajman Court of Appeal upheld the original verdict, as did the Court of Cassation, reported thenational.ae.

The United Arab Emirates includes the Emirates of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ras al-Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, Ajman, Fujairah and Sharjah. Sexual relations outside of a heterosexual marriage are a crime.

The Federal Penal Code does not replace the legal system of each emirate, unless it is contrary to the federal law, and thus Sharia law remains in place. Hence a person could be charged on this federal penal code, or under a local (emirate) penal code.

Homosexuality is strongly criminalized in the UAE and carries penalties ranging from a month in prison to the death penalty. The laws, some of which were introduced by the British during the colonial period, are still vigorously enforced.

Article 354 of the Federal Penal Code states, “Whoever commits rape on a female or sodomy with a male shall be punished by death.”

There are also strict laws forbidding public displays of affection, and two men were jailed in 2012 for allegedly fondling each other.

Source: pinknews.co.uk; thenational.ae