Are military punishments tougher than in prison

Rules of behavior for dream destinations: From the beach to jail - high penalties in holiday countries

Holidays in foreign countries can be exciting, enriching or just relaxing - as long as you stick to the law. Because in some countries there are hefty penalties for things that are not punished at all or are punished very mildly in Germany.

- Freedom of movement: In some countries, bare skin is not welcome. In Brazil, for example, topless and even public changing is a criminal offense, which can result in arrests and legal proceedings. Even in the bathing paradise of the Maldives, caution is required: "Regarding the clothing regulations outside of the resort islands, the usual rule in Muslim countries to cover shoulders and knees should be observed," emphasizes Tina Rast from the German Embassy in Colombo, which is responsible for Sri Lanka and the Maldives is responsible. That also means: no bikini.

In the United Arab Emirates or Iran, tourists have been arrested after receiving a warning if they did not dress appropriately. Even public caresses, even from couples, are punishable by law. Gay vacationers generally have a hard time: In some countries such as India, Indonesia or Uganda, life imprisonment or even the death penalty are possible. - Souvenirs: Some souvenirs can be fatal to travelers before they fly home. In Russia, for example, according to the Foreign Office, the export of all antiques and works of art is prohibited if they date from before 1945. This can result in fines and sometimes imprisonment of several years. Turkey is also not squeamish: there can be up to ten years in prison for the export or acquisition of cultural and natural goods. These include, for example, old coins, stones from excavation sites or fossils.

- Ban on photography: jail for a photo? In some states this can happen. Because in many countries there is not only a ban on photography for military installations like in Germany, but also for airports or government buildings. There are corresponding laws in Bangladesh, Ghana and Iran, for example. "One shouldn't photograph demonstrations in Iran either," advises lawyer Seyed Iranbomy, Iranian lawyer and legal expert for Iran and Dubai. In the event of violations, travelers must expect their cameras to be removed. A travel ban is also possible.

- Disrespect: In Sri Lanka it is advisable not to offend any religious feelings. "In 2011, a group of French people were sentenced to six months in prison with hard labor for taking pictures in front of Buddha statues, which were classified as indecent," reports Embassy employee Rast. Tourists in Sri Lanka face penalties ranging from referral to fines and imprisonment.

- Narcotics: Almost all countries are taking this much harder than the German authorities. "I know the case of a student who wanted to fly from South Africa to Germany via Dubai and smoked a joint in South Africa," explains lawyer Iranbomy. Although he did not even leave the transit area, the man was checked and was held in custody for three days. Several years in prison under extremely uncomfortable prison conditions are not uncommon in many countries around the world.

- Pollution: In Hong Kong and Singapore you should dispose of your waste carefully. "Since May 27, 2002, a fixed fine of 600 Hong Kong dollars, around 85 euros, has been set in Hong Kong for every type of contamination," says Anja Walther, head of the legal and consular department at the German Consulate General in Hong Kong. Throwing away cigarette butts and packaging is included as well as graffiti contamination.