[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
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.