A few weeks ago Asylum got a few people a bit upset by suggesting Spring Break Destinations From Hell
. Now we're expanding our vacation-planning services by spotlighting a few of the more wacky, harsh or disturbing foreign laws you'll want to remember before getting that passport stamp. That is, unless you're eager to be fined for "illegal sex," killed for drug use or thrown in prison for the crime of "dangerousness."
United Arab Emirates: Illegal Sex
Sure, the UAE is known for crazy, mind-boggling architecture
and other dashes of Western flair, but anyone with an active libido -- hell, anyone who's not a devoutly religious virgin -- may want to reconsider a trip.
Let's ponder some of the recent news from this oil-rich corner of the globe. In April, a visitor to Dubai was raped (when "semi-conscious") by a hotel waiter. When she and her fiancée reported the crime to the police, they were both charged with humping-before-marriage
-- "illegal sex," according to the law.
That's not all. Visiting couples have faced 30 days jail time for a simple kiss in a restaurant
. And it was on the cheek
. We hate to think what you get for a little tongue.
Iran: Killing Kids!
Iran is basically the Playboy Mansion compared to the prudishness over in Dubai -- premarital sex will only earn 100 "strokes of the lash," thanks to the Law of Hodoud
. But it's not all peace and love under President Ahmadinejad. At least as recently as 2007, Iran was known to hang children
. We'd make a joke here, but we've learned that it's scientifically impossible to make hanging children funny.
Thailand: Deadly Drugs!
Last time we told you to avoid Thailand because of ladyboys and crazy-potent HIV strains
. But it seems like this beautiful country is a sticky spot even if you're not a fat, middle-aged man paying for sex. Drug use can be punished by death, for instance. And before you react to that news by cursing off the country's rulers, remember that "insulting the monarchy" can land you in prison for up to 15 years
Cuba: Criminals of the Future!
Yeah, we loved "Buena Vista Social Club" too, and their cigars are world-class. But Cuba is also, in the (admittedly biased) words
of the U.S. Department of State, a "totalitarian police state that relies on repressive methods to maintain control." One such law
prohibits the crime of peligrosidad
, or "dangerousness" -- basically, someone can be sentenced to up to four years in prison because the authorities believe the individual has a "special proclivity" to commit crimes, even before/without committing them. Who knew that Castro was such a Tom Cruise fan
Uganda: Do Not Taste the Rainbow, Upon Penalty of Death!
This African nation is home to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
, but it's other forms of penetration that really get them crazed. If you're nuts enough to visit, you'd better not bring along any gay friends -- or even be seen publicly helping out the homosexual cause, also known as "aiding and abetting homosexuality
" -- because Uganda is eyeing new laws
that make the late Jerry Falwell look open-minded.
President Obama has condemned the legislation as "odious
." And it doesn't simply apply to homosexuals. Forget "don't ask, don't tell" -- this is "don't tell, go to jail." Any non-gay person who doesn't disclose the identities of known gay people can be thrown in prison for three years.