By Haneen Dajani
Two teenage boys who committed indecent acts on themselves were sentenced to two months in a youth correctional centre after being cleared of rape and kidnapping.
SM, an Egyptian, and RM, who is Jordanian, had been accused with two friends of kidnapping, robbing and raping a Filipino man, AJ.
The friends, AM, Jordanian, and MM, Egyptian, were cleared of those charges but sentenced to three months for homosexual acts.
The judges who issued the verdict said the boys were sentenced to two months because they practised the "secret habit" on top of AJ's naked body, so it was considered as a form of sexual assault.
"However, if a person practises the 'secret habit' in the privacy of their bathroom, they don't face penalties," one of the judges noted.AJ had accused the boys of kidnapping him and taking him to his apartment, where they raped him and then stole Dh150 and a gold chain.
In previous hearings, the teenagers argued that AJ actually offered them money in exchange for sex. The taxi driver who drove the group to AJ's apartment testified that AJ rode willingly with them.
According to the UAE Fatwa Centre, though there is no penalty for masturbation under Sharia, it is forbidden under Islam.
"There is one exception, however, which is if the person was in a situation where he could either commit sex out of wedlock or get rid of his desire through masturbating. Then [masturbation] is the lesser of two evils," the fatwa says.