July 22, 2013

"A Norwegian woman who was sentenced to prison in Dubai after reporting that she was raped..."

"... has been given a pardon and will be heading home soon, she said Monday."

When I clicked on the front-page teaser — "Woman pardoned for rape report" — I thought I was going to a story about a false report of rape, and I was curious about the sympathy for women who do such harmful things. But that is not what happened here. Marte Deborah Dalelv reported a rape, and she was then "charged with having unlawful sex, making a false statement and illegal consumption of alcohol" and given a 16-month prison sentence.

While Dubai has a reputation as a cosmopolitan city that boasts Western influences, where visitors can drink at bars and restaurants and unmarried couples can share hotel rooms, the country adheres to Islamic laws and traditions. Having sex outside of marriage and public consumption of alcohol are both violations of the law in the United Arab Emirates....

In December 2012, a British woman reported being raped by three men in Dubai. She was found guilty of drinking alcohol without a license and fined. In January 2010, a British woman told authorities she was raped by an employee at a Dubai hotel. She was charged with public intoxication and having sex outside of marriage. An Australian woman reported in 2008 that she was drugged and gang-raped. She was convicted of having sex outside marriage and drinking alcohol, and she was sentenced to 11 months in prison.