By Jueseppi B.
From The Telegraph:
A 23-year-old British woman on holiday in Dubai told police she had been raped, only to be arrested herself for having illegal sexual intercourse.
By Chris Irvine 08 Jan 2010
The woman, a Muslim of Pakistani descent, was celebrating her engagement to her 44-year-old boyfriend, and was allegedly attacked when she passed out in a hotel lavatory.
Despite approaching police about the attack, she was arrested after admitting to “illegal drinking” outside licensed premises as well as having sexual intercourse outside marriage. Her fiancé was also charged with the same offences.
The couple from London are now reportedly on bail and understood to be awaiting trial after having their passports confiscated. Should they be found guilty, they could face up to six years in jail.
The woman, who is said to have accepted her boyfriend’s marriage proposal during a three-day break, admitted drinking too much alcohol as they celebrated at Dubai Marina’s Address Hotel. The waiter is then said to have followed her into the toilets and raped her while she was in a state of semi-consciousness.
After her fiancé found out about the attack, they contacted police, but they were questioned about breaking the country’s strict rules, which contain elements of Sharia law.
She was then made to give a blood test to prove she had been drinking, and only was given access to proper medical checks following an appeal from the British embassy, it is claimed.
A cellmate of the woman told The Sun: “She’s a British girl but a Muslim, so I think they were tougher on her because of that.
“She was trying to report the rape but soon realised the policemen were more interested in how often she has sex with her boyfriend.”
Her attacker is believed to have denied rape, claiming she consented, but he has also been charged with “illegal sex”.
A spokesman for the Foreign Office told The Daily Telegraph: “We can confirm two British nationals were arrested in Dubai on 1 January. Our embassy in Dubai is providing consular assistance and we cannot confirm or release further details about the case”
An Address Hotel spokesman told The Sun: “The matter is being investigated by the authorities”.
Dubai has strict rules about sexual intercourse and alcohol. In July 2008, British woman Michelle Palmer, was convicted after being caught having drunken sex outsider marriage with Vince Acors. They were given three-month suspended jail sentences.
Marte Deborah Dalelv Speaks About Prison In Dubai After Rape
Published on Jul 21, 2013
A Norwegian woman has spoken out about the 16-month prison sentence she received in Dubai after reporting a rape incident to police in March this year.
Marte Deborah Dalelv was visiting Dubai on a business trip from Qatar, where she worked as a decorator, when she was raped. The 25-year-old reported the March attack to the police but found herself charged with having extra-marital sex, consuming alcohol without a licence and perjury.
Dalelv said she remained hopeful that she would succeed in an appeal against the ruling by a Dubai court.
The case has drawn outrage from rights groups and others in the West since she was convicted on Wednesday.
Norwegian diplomats later secured her release and she has been allowed to remain at the Norwegian Seamen’s Center in central Dubai.
She said her alleged attacker received a 13-month sentence for out-of-wedlock sex and alcohol consumption.
Dubai authorities did not respond to calls for comment.
The case highlights the increasingly frequent tensions between the United Arab Emirates’ international atmosphere and its legal system.
Rori Donaghy, campaign manager for the UK-based Emirates Centre for Human Rights, told Al Jazeera that it is tough for women in the UAE, especially with regards to rape cases, because “the burden of proof in the UAE for women relies on either a confession from the perpetrator, or having four adult males confirm the rape.”
He went on to say that most trials are conducted behind closed doors, making it “difficult to discern the facts.”
“My advice is for governments to change their travel advice,” he said. “People need to be aware of the laws in the Emirates regarding rape, bounced cheques, and alcohol.”
‘Call the police?’
Talking about the night of the rape Dalelv told AP news agency that she “woke up and I realised I was being raped and I went down to the lobby and I asked them to call the police for me.”
“They asked me are you sure you want to call the police? And I thought of course I want to call the police because that’s the natural reaction where I am from,” she added.
Dalelv also said she wanted to spread the word and that she had been thinking about going public with her story for a while.
“We were worried that that would effect my case for the worse, because it could be that they could make me as an example, showing that in Dubai we have our rules you have to follow them. So we thought we are not calling the press,” she added.
Dalelv said she did not want to criticise the government of the United Arab Emirates.
The case illustrates the deeper problem that women all over the world are subjected to
Espen Barth Eide, Norway’s Foreign Minister
“They have their legal system. I just want to get fair treatment,” she said.
“I am very nervous and tense. But I hope for the best and I take one day at a time. I just have to get through this,” she told AFP by telephone from Dubai.
Calling the sentence “very harsh”, she said she immediately filed an appeal, adding a new hearing is scheduled September 5.
Norway’s Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide was trying to reach his counterpart in the Gulf nation on Friday about the case.
“It seems very strange that a person who reports rape is sentenced for acts which in our part of the world is not even a crime,” he said, according to Norwegian news agency NTB.
“The case illustrates the deeper problem that women all over the world are subjected to: First of all that they are not believed when they tell their story, and secondly that it is possible to be punished for so-called indecent behaviour.”
24 Year Old Norwegian Marte Deborah Dalelv Paid Greatly For Being Raped
Published on Jul 21, 2013
The Norwegian interior designer convicted in Dubai of having illegal sex after she reported being raped is appealing her jail sentence and alerting Western women to the Islam-based legal system of the United Arab Emirates.
“I just want to get fair treatment,” Marte Deborah Dalelv, 24, told the AFP news agency Friday. She called her 16-month sentence Tuesday — for extramarital sex, perjury and illegal alcohol consumption — “very harsh,” saying she had appealed immediately. A hearing is set for Sept. 5.
Marte Deborah Dalelv, Alleged Norwegian Rape Victim, Sentenced To 16 Months Jail In Dubai
Published on Jul 20, 2013
By Amena Bakr DUBAI | Sun Jul 21, 2013 For Reuters
(Reuters) – A Norwegian interior designer jailed in Dubai for illicit sex after she reported being raped says she has no regrets about coming forward if her warning will protect others from a similar fate.
A court on July 17 sentenced Marte Deborah Dalelv to 16 months in prison for having sex outside marriage, drinking and making false statements. She says a male colleague pulled her into his hotel room and raped her after she asked him to help her find her own room when they had had a few drinks.
The 24-year-old has been released on condition she remain at a Norwegian Christian center in Dubai pending the outcome of anappeal. Asked if she regretted reporting the assault, Dalelv said no: “The truth is the only thing that will help me get through this.”
The news has dominated the front pages in Norway and raised questions about the judicial system in the Gulf state, which lures large numbers of expatriates and tourists with a Western lifestyle but has little-publicized conservative laws on its books covering sex and alcohol.
Norway has complained. Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide told reporters: “We believe this is a completely unacceptable verdict, which is contrary to human rights and the basic sense of justice.”
In the United Arab Emirates, as in some other countries using Islamic law, a rape conviction can require either a confession or the testimony of four adult male witnesses.
According to the UK-based Emirates Centre for Human Rights, Dalelv’s is only the latest in a string of cases in which women who have reported being raped have ended up with jail sentences.
Among recent cases, a Briton who alleged she had been raped by three men was fined for drinking alcohol. An Emirati woman was sentenced to a year in prison after claiming to have been gang-raped. An Australian woman was sent to prison for 11 months after reporting a gang-rape to police, the Centre said.
But rarely-enforced laws actually define it as illegal for residents to d
rink without a special license that few obtain. Possessing alcohol outside a licensed bar or being drunk in public are offences, even if the alcohol was bought legally. Such laws can be used to prosecute visitors who are involved in accidents or report crimes.
In an interview with Reuters, Dalelv said that by coming forward she hoped to alert other people not to expect Western standards of judicial protection.
“Dubai seems like a Western city, but what a lot of tourists don’t know for example that it’s not legal for them to drink alcohol,” she said.
Dalelv said she did not realize she would be treated as a criminal rather than as a victim, until after she reported the assault and found herself being interrogated at a police station. An officer asked if she was making the rape report because she had not enjoyed sex.
“That is when I knew: I don’t think they are going to believe me at all,” she said.
She was held in prison for four days until contact was made with the Norwegian consulate and bail arranged. She still expected to be exonerated when her legal team presented its case. Her conviction came as a shock.
“I am very surprised because we had a DNA report, we had a medical report … and still didn’t believe me.”
(Reporting by Amena Bakr; Editing by William Maclean and Peter Graff)
Thank you Reuters.
July 21, 2013,
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATESA Norwegian woman sentenced to 16 months in jail in Dubai for having sex outside marriage after she reported an alleged rape said Friday she decided to speak out in hopes of drawing attention to the risks of outsiders misunderstanding the Islamic-influenced legal codes in this cosmopolitan city.
The case has drawn outrage from rights groups and others in the West since the 24-year-old interior designer was sentenced Wednesday. It also highlights the increasingly frequent tensions between the United Arab Emirates’ international atmosphere and its legal system, which is strongly influenced by Islamic traditions in a nation where foreign workers and visitors greatly outnumber locals.
“I have to spread the word. … After my sentence we thought, ‘How can it get worse?’” Marte Deborah Dalelv told The Associated Press in an interview at a Norwegian aid compound in Dubai where she is preparing her appeal scheduled for early September.
Dalelv, who worked for an interior design firm in Qatar, owned by Janet Jackson’s husband, since 2011, claims she was sexually assaulted by a co-worker in March while she was attending a business meeting in Dubai.
She explained that he tried to drag her into her room, despite her repeatedly saying, “No.”
“I just thought I need to calm this situation down,” she told CBS News. “So I walked in with him, and I sat down and I went to drink my bottle of water. I thought that I’ll finish this bottle, and then I’ll excuse myself and find my room by myself. And that’s the last thing I remember. The following morning, I woke up on my stomach, my clothes were off, and I was being raped when I woke up.”
She said she fled to the hotel lobby and asked for the police to be called. The hotel staff asked if she was sure she wanted to involve the police, Dalelv said.
“Of course I want to call the police,” she said. “That is the natural reaction where I am from.”
Dalelv said she was given a medical examination seeking evidence of the alleged rape and underwent a blood test for alcohol. Such tests are commonly given in the UAE for alleged assaults and in other cases. Alcohol is sold widely across Dubai, but public intoxication can bring charges. In addition to being charged with sex outside marriage, she said, she is being charged with drinking alcohol and filing false statements.
The AP does not identity the names of alleged sexual assault victims, but Dalelv went public voluntarily to talk to media.
Dalelv was detained for four days after being accused of having sex outside marriage, which is outlawed in the UAE although the law is not actively enforced for tourists as well as hundreds of thousands of Westerners and others on resident visas.
She managed to reach her stepfather in Norway after being loaned a phone card by another woman in custody.
“My stepdad, he answered the phone, so I said, that I had been raped, I am in prison … please call the embassy,” she recounted.
“And then I went back and I … just had a breakdown,” she continued. “It was very emotional, to call my dad and tell him what happened.”
Norwegian diplomats later secured her release and she has been allowed to remain at the Norwegian Seamen’s Center in central Dubai. She said her alleged attacker received a 13-month sentence for out-of-wedlock sex and alcohol consumption.
Dubai authorities did not respond to calls for comment, but the case has brought strong criticism from Norwegian officials and activists.
“This verdict flies in the face of our notion of justice,” Norway’s foreign minister, Espen Barth Eide, told the NTB news agency, calling it “highly problematic from a human rights perspective.”
Previous cases in the UAE have raised similar questions, with alleged sexual assault victims facing charges for sex-related offenses. Other legal codes also have been criticized for being at odds with the Western-style openness promoted by Dubai.
On Thursday, Dubai police said they arrested a man who posted an Internet video of an Emirati beating a South Asian van driver after an apparent traffic altercation. Police said they took the action because images of a potential crime were “shared.”
In London, a spokesman for the Emirates Center for Human Rights, a group monitoring UAE affairs, said the Dalelv case points out the need for the UAE to expand its legal protections for alleged rape victims.
“We urge authorities to reform the laws governing incidents of rape in the country,” said Rori Donaghy, “to ensure women are protected against sexual violence and do not become the targets of prosecution when reporting crimes.”
2013 The Associated Press.
From The Daily Mail UK:
Janet Jackson’s husband is accused of firing female employee after she reported being raped and was then thrown in prison on Dubai business trip
- Norwegian Marte Deborah Dalelv was in Dubai on a business trip when she was raped
- She reported the rape to police but was then charged herself for having sex outside of marriage
- She has now been sentenced to 16 months in prison
- Six weeks after reporting the rape her employment at Qatari billionaire Wissam Al Mana’s interior design firm was terminated
- Company strongly denies firing her because of the rape allegations
- Al Mana married Janet Jackson last year after they met in 2010
A spokesman for the Qatari billionaire’s company, Al Mana Interiors, strongly denied the claims from Marte Deborah Dalelv, saying instead its representatives were ‘by her side’ throughout the ‘ordeal’ and that the firm was forced to let her go after she ’declined to have positive and constructive discussions about her employment status.’
The Norwegian 24-year-old was sentenced to 16 months in prison this week for having sex outside of marriage after she was raped by a co-worker in March during a business trip to Dubai.
Dalelv reported the sexual assault to police but instead of helping her they arrested her and took her passport away. Her rapist was sentenced to three months less prison time than she got.
According to Verdens Gang, three weeks after she reported the crime Dalelv was suspended from her job. Three weeks after that she got a termination letter, signed off by Al Mana himself.
‘Further to the suspension letter notified to you on 20th March 2013, we hereby inform you that you employment with Al Mana Interiors W.L.L. is terminated for misconduct and breach of your employment duties, effective immediately,’ the letter reads.
‘… your employment agreement is terminat(ed) due to your unacceptable and improper behavior during your last business trip in Dubai, which has resulted in your arrest by the Police Authorities in UAE.’
On Saturday, Al Mana Interiors claimed it was forced to let Dalelv go after she ‘declined to have positive and constructive discussions about her employment status’ and not because of the rape.
‘We are sympathetic to Marte Dalelv during this very difficult situation,’ the statement reads.
‘Al Mana Interiors has repeatedly offered Marte support and company representatives were by her side throughout the initial investigation and police interviews, and spent days at both the police station and the prosecutor’s office to help win her release.
‘Company representatives have been supportive and in communication with Marte throughout her ordeal. Only when Ms. Dalelv declined to have positive and constructive discussions about her employment status, and ceased communication with her employer, was the company forced to end our relationship with her. The decision had nothing to do with the rape allegation, and unfortunately neither Ms. Dalelv nor her attorneys have chosen to contact the company to discuss her employment status.
‘We continue to be open to helping Ms. Dalelv and extending her resources during the Dubai legal process. We are hopeful that we can resume a positive discussion about the assistance she needs during this difficult time.’
Dalelv reported the sexual assault in March, after which she had to spend days in a cell before she was allowed to use a telephone.
With the help of family members, the Norwegian consulate was able to negotiate a release and she has been living under the protection of the Norwegian Sailor’s Church until her sentencing this week.
‘I received the harshest sentence for sex outside marriage, harshest sentence for drinking alcohol and on top of that I was found guilty of perjury,’ she told Verdens Gang.
‘It is a terrible situation she is in,’ said Gisle Meling, the priest at the Norwegian Sailor’s Church.
‘We are very surprised and had hoped it would go another way, but we live in a country which has a justice system which draws its conclusions with the help of Sharia law.’
Dalelv was sentenced to one year and four months in jail but as Norway has no extradition treaty with Dubai, her future is uncertain.
Janet Jackson married the Qatari billionaire in a secret ceremony last year. The pair have been together for three years after meeting in 2010.
The young Norwegian woman’s horror story is not unique.
Earlier this year Australian Alicia Gali, 27, spoke of how she was thrown in a Dubai jail for eight months after she reported a rape.
Gali was working at hotel chain Starwood when her drink was spiked in the staff bar.
She awoke to find that three colleagues had raped her, but when she went to a hospital for help, they turned her over to the police and she was charged with illicit sex outside marriage.
Under UAE law, rapists can only be convicted if either the perpetrator confesses or if four adult Muslim males witness the crime.
Under the Sharia-influenced laws, sex before marriage is completely forbidden and an unmarried couple holding hands in public can be jailed.
Foreigners jailed in Dubai are deported immediately after completing their sentences.
Thank you Daily Mail UK.
Wow. Janet, get your shit together and offer your full assistance to Ms. Marte Deborah Dalelv. You should NOT have to be told this.
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