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Bali to deport Russian couple for nude photos on sacred tree

DENPASAR, INDONESIA (AFP) – A Russian influencer and her husband will be deported from Bali after staging a nude photo shoot on a sacred tree in violation of local culture, officials on the Indonesian holiday island said.

Alina Fazleeva, who has thousands of followers on Instagram, posed naked on a 700-year- old banyan tree at a temple in Tabanan district.

The picture, which was taken by her husband Andrey Fazleev, was uploaded to Instagram and went viral, irking Balinese communities.

Mountains, trees and other natural features are considered holy in Balinese Hindu culture, as they are thought to be the homes of the deities.

“Both of them are proven to have carried out activities that endanger public order and do not respect the local norms,” Bali immigration chief Jamaruli Manihuruk told reporters on Friday.

Alina Fazleeva and her husband Amdrei Fazleev attend a press conference in Denpasar. PHOTO: AFP

“So, they will be sanctioned with deportation.”

The husband and wife will be banned from Indonesia for at least six months, and also had to participate in a cleansing ceremony at the sacred area in accordance with local belief, he added. 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.

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

Bali’s Governor Wayan Koster said his administration would no longer tolerate disrespectful tourists.

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