[QODLink]
Middle East

UAE pardons and frees Norwegian rape victim

Woman jailed after reporting to police that she was raped by a colleague is given her passport back and allowed to leave

Last Modified: 22 Jul 2013 17:00
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

The United Arab Emirates has pardoned a Norwegian woman who was sentenced to jail for “illicit sex” after she reported being raped by a colleague while on a visit to Dubai, the Norwegian foreign minister said.

"I warmly welcome that Marte Dalelv was pardoned by the ruler of Dubai today. The fight for human rights for all continues," Espen Barth Eide, Norway's foreign minister, said on Monday on his Twitter account.

Dalelv, 24, had been awaiting an appeal hearing of her 16-month sentence handed down this month after a court in the Gulf Arab emirate found her guilty of having sex outside marriage, drinking and making false statements.

I am very very happy. I don't know when I will get to go home, but I'll leave as soon as possible.

Marte Dalelv, Norwegian woman sentenced to jail after she reported being raped.

Dalelv, who has been staying at a Norwegian Christian centre in Dubai pending the appeal, said 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 a few drinks.

Dalelv herself spoke of her relief and delight at the decision.

"I am very very happy. I don't know when I will get to go home, but I'll leave as soon as possible," she told reporters outside a Scandinavian social centre in Dubai, adding her passport had been returned.

Her colleague, who was sentenced to 13 months in prison for alcohol consumption and sex outside marriage, was also pardoned, Dalelv’s lawyer Mahmoud Azab told  the AFP news agency.

A Sudanese identified as Hawari in his 30s, "was also handed back his passport" and freed, Azab said.

Authorities from Dubai's public prosecutor's office had no immediate comment.

News of the sentence had dominated the front pages in Norway and raised questions about the judicial system in the Gulf state, which attracts large numbers of expatriates and tourists with a Western lifestyle but has little-publicised conservative laws covering sex and alcohol. 

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.

382

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
About 500,000 participated around the globe in the Peoples Climate March, and Al Jazeera spoke to some in New York.
Separatist movements in Spain, Belgium and Italy may face headwinds following Scotland's decision to stay in the UK.
A fishing trawler carrying 500 migrants across the Mediterranean was rammed by another boat, causing hundreds to drown.
Anti-immigration Sweden Democrats party - with roots in the neo-Nazi movement - recently won 12.9 percent of the vote.
Palestinian doctor who lost three daughters in previous Gaza war is fighting to bring 100 wounded kids to Canada.