A South African man and his Ukrainian fiancée were detained in Abu Dhabi
after a doctor discovered that the woman was pregnant, a relative says.
Emlyn Culverwell, 29, and Iryna Nohai, 27, were reportedly arrested for unlawful sex outside of marriage.
The arrests came after Nohai, who was suffering from stomach cramps,
went to Medeor Medical Centre in Yas Mall in Abu Dabi, where a doctor
told her she was pregnant,Daily Mail reports.
Having sex outside of marriage is illegal in the UAE, and those who are convicted can face long jail sentences.
The couple have reportedly been detained since January 29, but details
of their arrests are just emerging.Culverwell and Nohai were arrested at
the hospital for not being able to provide marriage certificates. .
They have not, however, been charged because authorities are still
investigating the paternity of the child, how long the couple was
sexually active and are testing Nohai’s HIV status.
The couple had become engaged just two days before their arrest, on January 27.
Culverwell has been working in the UAE for the past five years as a water rescue operative at Yas Waterworld.
He first started dating Nohai, who worked as an administration officer, in mid-2014.
Since their arrest, a Christian Church in Yas Island, UAE offered to
marry the couple for a lofty price, but a judge refused to allow it,
according to Herald Live.
South Africa’s foreign ministry said that it cannot help the couple
because it is an issue with domestic UAE law, according to News24, and
have suggested they seek legal help.