Going to jail is something that scares us all. We try to respect the law within reasonable limits, and we avoid breaking the rules if we can help it. However, we are blessed enough to live in a country that has good laws in place and where you know justice can protect you. But what about other countries where the law is sketchy or almost ridiculous from our point of view?
In this article, I try to break down the weirdest things that could get someone in trouble in different parts of the world. Not all of these places are underdeveloped countries, which might seem surprising to some of us. This proves that each culture has its own quirks and maybe it is a good idea to read about these things before going on a holiday to any of these destinations.
One thing that seems to be the rule in many predominantly Muslim countries is the dress code. If you don’t want unrequited attention, try to cover up and show as little skin as possible. If you are a woman and you show cleavage, especially if you are a local, it could get you into prison in Saudi Arabia. In other Arab countries like Iran, things don’t go that far, but you would still get a consistent fine that would be a burden to your wallet.
Traveling further down on our map to the country of Burundi, in East Africa, and we find another law that might be surprising to Americans or Europeans. But it is not that shocking if you take into consideration its recent history. In Burundi, it is illegal to jog in groups. The authorities consider it a possible uprising, as the country has a rich history full of turns of events. Even two people jogging together is regarded as a group, so be careful what you do when you visit the country.
Going back to Saudi Arabia, which seems to have plenty of rules us westerners don’t necessarily agree with, we discover that they have banned Valentine’s Day. They consider it to be a non-Muslim tradition, and that love should be directed towards God and not consumerism. This could get you jailed not only in this country, but also in Pakistan. Indonesia seems to head into the same direction, as it had plenty of rallies against the holiday in the last few years.
The last weird thing that could lock you up in prison is swearing. In the Australian states of Queensland and Victoria, cursing is considered a ‘summary offense’ and could get you locked up for up to seven months. And they seem to take this thing very seriously as fines are common, and cases that make it to court are not unheard of.