Dubai Pardons Rape Victim
A Norwegian woman at the centre of a Dubai rape case dispute has been pardoned and is free to leave Dubai, she has said.
Interior designer Marte Deborah Dalelv, 24, was on a business trip in Dubai when she says she was raped in March.
She reported the attack to the police, but was charged with perjury, having extramarital sex and drinking alcohol, receiving a 16-month prison sentence.
The case has angered rights groups and the Norwegian authorities.
Ms Dalelv has had her passport returned and was free to leave the country, a Norwegian official told the BBC. She was not being deported, and was expected to return to Norway in the next few days.
The designer, who has been staying at the Norwegian Seamen’s Centre in Dubai since she was sentenced last week, told the BBC she found out she was to be freed earlier on Monday during a meeting with public prosecutors.
The facts of the “case” against her aren’t unique to Dubai or other strictly Islamic nations:
Ms Dalelv says she was on a night out with colleagues on 6 March when the rape took place.
She reported it to the police, who proceeded to confiscate her passport and seize her money. She was charged four days later on three counts, including having sex outside marriage.
Her alleged attacker, she said, received a 13-month sentence for extramarital sex and alcohol consumption.
The man she accused of raping her – a colleague – has also been pardoned, a Norwegian official has said.
Why the man who raped her was freed is a mystery, but I suppose we can at least be thankful that she was freed. Of course, if it weren’t for the fact that she was a citizen of a Western nation whose case had received worldwide attention I doubt this would have happened. The United Arab Emirates may be an American ally of convenience, but I think we can all agree that laws like this are quite simply outrageous. Indeed, I’m not sure why a Western woman without the protection of being protected by diplomatic immunity or membership in the military of her nation would travel unaccompanied to a nation with laws like this.