I was shocked and outraged when I first heard of this case on the news because it was a story done so well that seemed to be a clear case of the victim being arrested for no reason. But then Iasked myself some questions and wondered if there could be more to the story?
Why would the UAE and Dubai who admittedly depend on foreign investment and Western tourism which they have worked so hard to attract do this? Some less than reputable groups would gleam that "see this how even moderate Islam works and they don't respect women or their rights". Then I thought I'd look for the other side of the story which was clearly missing.
Even thenI still asked myself is this typical for Dubai to treat people who claim they were raped this way? I had to ask because I constantly read many so-called factual stories in the media about Dubai and other parts of the world that end up not being true, or half-truths at best when investigated.
The Undisputed Facts (CNN and the UAE media confirm this)
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.
The 24-year-old was convicted and sentenced on charges of having unlawful sex, making a false statement and illegal consumption of alcohol.
Subsequently, she said her manager advised her to tell the police it was voluntary sexual intercourse and likely the whole issue would just go away. She followed the advice and in one of the many hearings at the public prosecutor's office, she made a statement saying it was voluntary.
But a representative of Al Mana Interiors, who Dalelv worked for, told CNN that she was not advised by her manager to say the sex was consensual but rather by a police officer, who told her that in Arabic and it was translated into English by her manager.
Here's what I found (quotes in no particular order but from the referenced links below)
Six days later, on March 12, Ms Dalelv returned to the police and retracted the allegation of rape, saying that she had made the initial complaint "because I was under the influence of alcohol".
"If she was raped she would not face this charge, she is a victim," says Mr Elhias, who has handled 3,000 criminal cases in Dubai. "She is well protected in law. That is a misconception.
"But if there was no rape the judge has to punish her by sending her to jail. That's her mistake [in this case]. The second part will be considered, that she had a relationship without force so she has to be punished."
In Ms Dalelv's account, she asked HM to take her to her room, but he suggested they stay in his so that he could wake her in time for a morning business meeting.
Photographs from the hotel's closed-circuit TV camera, which were produced in court, show Ms Dalelv entering HM's room with her arm around his waist in one shot, and resting her head on his shoulder in another.
The account of HM - who has also been pardoned after being sentenced to a year in prison for sex outside of marriage - contests that Ms Dalelv tried to seduce him by rubbing her body against his and making "intimate noises".
- She reported that her co-worker raped her in his Hotel room
- She then changed her story to the following:
- She was drunk when she made the allegation
- She said it was consensual (that there was no rape)
- She withdrew her complaint
By doing the above she made herself guity of three offences according to the law of the UAE(we may not agree with the laws as with many countries) but she was charged with the following:
- having sex outside wedlock.
- consuming alcohol without a licence.
- making a false statement alleging a crime.
Contrary to what the media says, she was not being jailed for being the victim of rape, though on first glance the charge of "having sex out of wedlock" may imply that without knowing the full story.
If Dubai jails rape victims then why did these men go to jail for 10-years?
I think more information and facts need to come out as the whole issue has been sensationalized and taken out of perspective.
Iwant to make it very clear that I am not trying to villainze Miss Dalelv especially if she truly was raped, it is a horrible crime that should never go unpunished in any country. However, there seems to be some gaps in the story and by her own admission she lied for whatever reasons we have heard to the police, and if we assume the rape occurred, it would put any law enforcement even in the West in a difficult position.
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