Bali to deport Russian couple for posting nude pics on sacred tree on Instagram

Published on May 07, 2022 07:14 PM IST

The husband-wife duo will be banned from Indonesia for at least six months, and also had to take part in a cleansing ceremony at the sacred area in line with local belief, Bali immigration chief Jamaruli Manihuruk told reporters Friday.

Russia's Alina Fazleeva (R) and her husband Amdrei Fazleev (L) attend a press conference in Denpasar, on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on May 6, 2022, as they face deportation for taking nude photos on a sacred tree. (Photo by SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP)
Russia's Alina Fazleeva (R) and her husband Amdrei Fazleev (L) attend a press conference in Denpasar, on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on May 6, 2022, as they face deportation for taking nude photos on a sacred tree. (Photo by SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP)
Written by Sharangee Dutta | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh, New Delhi

A Russian influencer and her husband will be deported from Bali after they staged a nude photo shoot on a sacred tree, thus violating the local culture of the island nation, AFP reported citing officials. Alina Fazleeva, who enjoys thousands of followers on Instagram, posed naked on a 700-year-old banyan tree at a temple in Tabanan district. The AFP report stated that the photo was clicked by her husband Andrey Fazleev and shared on Instagram, which soon went viral - thus irking the Balinese communities.

The husband-wife duo will be banned from Indonesia for at least six months, and also had to take part in a cleansing ceremony at the sacred area in line with local belief, Bali immigration chief Jamaruli Manihuruk told reporters Friday.

In Balinese Hindu culture, mountains, trees and other natural features are considered holy since they are thought to be the homes of the Gods.

"Both of them are proven to have carried out activities that endanger public order and do not respect the local norms," Manihuruk was quoted as saying by AFP.

Fazleeva apologised on her Instagram account in English and Bahasa Indonesia, acknowledging that she “made a big mistake”. “There are a lot of sacred places in Bali and not all of them have information signs about it, as in my case,” she said on the social media site.

“And, it is very important to treat these places and traditions with respect,” she added.

Furthermore, Bali's Governor Wayan Koster said his administration would no longer tolerate disrespectful tourists.

Nearly 200 people were deported from the island nation last year, some for flouting Covid-19 protocols.

Last month, a Canadian actor and self-proclaimed wellness guru was also facing deportation from Bali after a video went viral of him nude at holy Mount Batur while doing the Haka, New Zealand's Maori ceremonial dance.

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