Norwegian Woman Sent to Prison After Reporting Rape in the UAE

Norwegian Marte Deborah Dalelv, 24, in Dubai. File photo: Dalelv Family/Scanpix

A 24-year-old Norwegian woman has been sentenced to a 16 month prison sentence, convicted of ‘having sex outside of marriage’, after reporting a rape incident to Dubai police. 

{jcomments on}Marte Deborah Dalelv reported that she had been raped to Dubai authorities on March 6th but had her passport confiscated and money seized before being charged four days later.

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to gain a rape conviction the law stipulates that there must either be a confession or four adult male witnesses to the crime

This is the latest in a long line of cases where women who claim to have been the victims of rape have suffered prosecution themselves.

In December 2012 a British woman who alleged that she had been raped by 3 men was fined for drinking alcohol; an Emirati woman was sentenced to a year in prison after claiming to have been gang-raped; and an Australian woman was sent to prison for 11 months after reporting a gang-rape to police. 

Ministers in the UAE regularly cite their efforts to eliminate discrimination against women as evidence of an excellent human rights record. As this case demonstrates, the current legal system prohibits the achievement of justice for cases of sexual violence against women. 

Rori Donaghy, Campaign Manager, said: “If the UAE is to be taken seriously in its commitment to protecting the rights of women authorities must reform a legal system which affords little protection to victims of rape. As it stands, if the laws are not reformed, authorities in the UAE are simply using the rights of women as a form of pinkwashing to protect themselves against wider criticism of their human rights record.”

We call upon the authorities to release Marte Deborah Dalelv, quash her conviction, and impartially investigate the allegation of rape which she has been made.

Further, we urge authorities to reform the laws governing incidents of rape in the country to ensure women are protected against sexual violence and do not become the targets of prosecution when reporting crimes.

More about the story:

Norwegian schools cut ties with Dubai job-finder

Marte Deborah Dalelv imprisoned in Dubai for reporting rape

The Norwegian woman, 24, jailed in Dubai for reporting that she had been raped

Dubai imprisons Norwegian woman who reported rape

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