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Everyday Things You Could Be Arrested For In Popular Countries

Daniel Riley September 15th, 2023 2,162 views

Spanish Police
Spanish Police. Picture Credit: Canva
In the global village that we all inhabit, embracing cultural diversity and adhering to the laws and regulations of different countries is of utmost importance. Travelling across borders often comes with varying degrees of legal intricacies that one might overlook. You might be surprised to find that everyday actions or objects, seemingly innocent or permissible in your home country, can have serious legal repercussions in another. Here, we detail some of the actions and items for which you could potentially be arrested in some popular countries.

Croatia: Respect the Dress Code

Croatia, nestled along the Adriatic Sea, is famed for its pristine beaches and ancient town centres. Tourists flock to places like Split and Dubrovnik to soak up the sun and immerse themselves in the rich history. However, there is a caveat: the local authorities maintain a strict decorum in these towns, particularly when it comes to appropriate dressing. Walking shirtless or sauntering around in swimwear in town centres might seem like a casual act but could actually invite on-the-spot fines or even detention. To avoid a brush with the law, it's best to cover up when you venture away from the beach.

Egypt: A Double-Edged Sword of Societal Norms

When in Egypt, tourists ought to be mindful of two significant aspects. Firstly, the consumption of alcohol is regulated to licensed venues such as restaurants or bars. Drinking alcohol openly in the streets or any unlicensed location is prohibited and could potentially lead to arrest.

Secondly, though not explicitly criminalised, same-sex sexual activity is shrouded in societal stigma and legal ambiguities. Engaging in what is perceived as “debauchery” can have serious legal consequences, as seen in the arrest of 66 individuals following the display of a rainbow flag at a concert in 2017. It's worth noting that public opinion regarding homosexuality remains largely unfavourable in Egypt.

Mexico: The Vape Ban

Mexico stands firm on its restriction of electronic cigarettes, vaping devices, and related solutions. Bringing them into the country, or engaging in their purchase or sale, is considered illegal. Customs officials are vigilant about this, and finding such devices in your belongings could result in fines or even detention.

Morocco: Drinking Restrictions Similar to Egypt

Much like in Egypt, Morocco also enforces stringent laws regarding the consumption of alcohol. It is served in licensed venues, primarily targeted at tourists. However, imbibing in alcohol openly on the streets or in unlicensed places is considered illegal, potentially leading to arrest.

Thailand: Treading Carefully with Monarchy Comments

Thailand's lèse-majesté law is one that demands careful adherence. Criticising the Thai monarchy in any form, be it through articles, online comments, or even sharing perceived negative opinions about Thailand, can attract long jail sentences. The law is interpreted broadly, making it incumbent upon visitors to tread very carefully when discussing or commenting on the monarchy and related individuals.

United Arab Emirates: A Conservative Approach to Public Affection

The UAE, a popular destination known for its ultra-modern cities and rich traditions, expects visitors to align with its conservative views on public displays of affection. Engaging in acts such as kissing in public places is frowned upon, and there have been numerous instances of arrests pertaining to this. Visitors are advised to maintain decorum and respect the local customs regarding public affection.

In conclusion, while the global canvas offers a rich tapestry of cultures and experiences, it is crucial for travellers to be informed of the local norms and laws. A nuanced understanding of these regulations can not only prevent unwarranted legal troubles but also pave the way for a more immersive and stress-free cultural immersion. The next time you plan your trip, remember, a little caution can go a long way in ensuring a journey that keeps you out of trouble.

British citizens can obtain the full and latest information via the UK Government website.
Irish citizens can obtain the full and latest information via the DFA website.

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