Two transgender women from Brazil were detained and their passports confiscated while on vacation in Dubai. Karen Mke, 38, and Kamilla Satto, 33, were detained while attending a local nightclub with police charging them with the crime of ‘imitating’ women. The incident demonstrates the stupidity of laws that ban certain ways of dressing depending on your biological sex. The pair, who were on a tourist visit, are now awaiting an imminent trial with the possibility of imprisonment, fines and/or deportation to their home state of Amazonas in Brazil.
When security staff at the night club saw that their passports had “masculine” names, they experienced abuse. The pair then called the police, who informed them that it is forbidden for “men to dress as a woman” and arrested them. Dubai punishes the “imitation of women by men” under a law prohibiting “indecent acts” with fines, deportation and possible imprisonment of six months to a year. The pair cannot leave Dubai as their passports have been confiscated by the authorities. Brazil’s embassy confirmed the case and said the pair will have to wait for a court session to be held on March 23.
UPDATE: The court fined the Brazilian defendants, described as “38-year-old C.O. and 31-year-old I.S,” Dh10,000 each and ordered that they be deported.