Yet Another Woman Jailed Because She Was Allegedly Raped

A  female tourist from the United Kingdom was reportedly promptly arrested in Dubai on charges of engaging in extramarital sexual intercourse after she reported to the police that she was allegedly gang-raped by a group of other British nationals.

Yet Another Woman Jailed Because She Was Allegedly Raped

The unidentified woman was later released on bail; but her passport was confiscated — and despite all of the alleged attackers having already returned to the United Kingdom without any charges filed against them, she may face being a defendant on trial for the aforementioned charges. Mandated disciplinary action could include such punishments as imprisonment and deportation, flogging, and even being stoned to death.

“The UAE has a long history of penalising rape victims,” Radha Stirling — who is the founder and director of Detained in Dubai, which is “considered the international authority” on law in the United Arab Emirates — was quoted in this article. “We have been involved with several cases in the past where this has happened, and we work with the lawyers and families and have campaigned to change attitudes in the police and judiciary. Recent cases such as those of Alicia Gail and Roxanne Hiller, and the horrible case at hand, show that it is still not safe for victims to report these crimes to the police without the risk of suffering a double punishment.”

Evoking the Alleged Rape of Alicia Gali

Actually, the name of the woman in the quote was erroneously misspelled, as Stirling was referring to the alleged rape of Alicia Gali by her co-workers at the Le Méridien Al Aqah hotel in Fujairah in June of 2008, followed by her subsequent imprisonment for eight months because her rape is supposedly considered an admission of engaging in illicit sex outside of marriage — an illegal act in the United Arab Emirates under the charge of adultery.

Gali was back home in Australia, struggling to return to living a normal life even though she was reportedly diagnosed with severe post traumatic stress disorder, is unable to work, and has had to borrow money from family and friends to pay hospital and counseling. Gali had reportedly considered filing legal action against the hotel, which is a possible second reason for the release of the official statement — especially since Starwood Hotels and Resorts disagrees with the allegations.

The four men charged with raping Gali were reportedly prosecuted and were sentenced to prison terms. They allegedly instigated the rape by intentionally and purposely clogging a drain which resulted in flooding in her room, causing her to go to the hotel bar while she waited for the maintenance staff to fix the problem. A fellow employee reportedly spiked her drink when he refilled her glass with ice. Gali awakened during the afternoon on the next day with broken ribs and her entire body bruised.

Not Only the United Arab Emirates

A woman who was identified only as “Laura” was arrested in Qatar on suspicion of allegedly committing adultery despite having reported to law enforcement authorities that she was raped while on holiday after being drugged in a hotel — where the consumption of alcohol is reportedly permitted — and woke up the next morning “feeling unwell” in an apartment unfamiliar to her.

The woman — who was 22 years old at the time and from the Netherlands — went dancing at the hotel; but when she returned to the table after the first sip of her drink, she realised that she had been drugged, according to her attorney.

“Laura” was incarcerated despite not having been officially charged with the crime of engaging in extramarital sexual activity as well as an offense related to alcoholic consumption. The arrest supposedly occurred on Monday, March 14, 2016 after she reported the rape to authorities.

The alleged attacker — who was also incarcerated — claimed that the sex was consensual and that “Laura” even asked for money.

A campaign — which had been launched over the Internet to have “Laura” freed — gained in popularity, with more and more outraged supporters who championed the cause. “Laura” was finally freed this past June after spending approximately three months in jail. She received a suspended prison sentence of one year and was ordered to pay a fine of 3,000 Qatari rials — equivalent to approximately $825.00 or 733 euros — and was deported back to the Netherlands once the fine was paid.

Summary

“This is tremendously disturbing,” Stirling continued. “Police regularly fail to differentiate between consensual intercourse and violent rape. Victims go to them expecting justice, and end up being prosecuted. They not only invalidate their victimisation, they actually punish them for it.”

I agree wholeheartedly. Women — or anyone who is innocent, for that matter — should not have to be concerned about enduring such a horrible experience whenever they travel. Being the victim of a crime is bad enough; but reliving that experience through the judicial system as a defendant — with the real possibility of being punished for being the victim of a serious crime — is inexcusable and unacceptable.

This must change — and the sooner, the better…

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

6 thoughts on “Yet Another Woman Jailed Because She Was Allegedly Raped”

  1. William says:

    Get the message. Avoid dubai. Western woman are incompatible with male dominated societies. They are running out of oil . Leave them to be an economic wasteland.

  2. sw says:

    People need to not support Dubai or other areas where rights are so backwards. It’s shocking when to us western folks, when we assume the same logic and rules we live by apply in other countries and find the don’t.

    I posted on another blog about this. When television shows feature hotel Atlantis, shopping, the Kalifa, etc and promote it as a wonderful place to go they share in the responsibility of promoting a falsehood that it is a safe open place. It’s not always safe and how open it is depends upon who you are.

    Specifically, Housewives of Beverly Hills comes to mind. These overdone exaggerated women pranced around Dubai last season oohing and awing. In reality had there not been a tv crew there filming, these women with their 10 pounds of makeup and dressed like they were in a NY fashion show wouldn’t have received the same warm welcome, fancy rooms, fancy dinners, or desert tours. A scripted tourism advertisement. Anyone care to guess what the reality would have been if Erika Jane had walked into a bar alone with no TV crew?

    Bloggers share a responsibility too. Quite promoting first class flights to these areas. The only way to show displeasure is by leaving your dollars at home (yes I know the flights/hotels are on points, but you still spend a few bucks during your stay for something)

    Rant over

    1. sw says:

      Geeze I need to proofread for typos before I post

  3. Mark R says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I will not spend my $$$ on these countries or their subsidized airlines while they permit this kind of nonsense. I can’t understand why any woman would risk traveling to one of these countries when it’s clearly open season for sexual assault. Not only will the “authorities” not help you, they will prosecute you as the criminal…

  4. mike murphy says:

    again, I call them savages with money

  5. Dave says:

    but we need to encourage harmony and unison across the global scene. we have been giving so much for these people to come over from all over the world. we need to learn and respect their culture while they are in their own country, not try to change it from here.

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