Woman who was raped appealing sentence in Dubai

A woman from Norway was sentenced in Dubai to jail for 16 months for having extramarital sex after she reported being raped. She is currently appealing the court’s verdict.

Marte Dalelv, who is 25, who also was found guilty of drinking alcohol and of perjury had her passport taken by authorities. She has since taken refuge at Dubai’s Norwegian Seamen’s Center.

Under law in the United Arab Emirates, sex performed outside marriage is illegal, while a conviction of rape requires either the rapist to confess or four males of adult age who were witnesses to it.

Dalelv is an interior designer working for a firm based in Watar. She was on a business trip when the alleged attack happened after being out with her colleagues.

She said she awoke and realized someone was raping her. She went to the lobby and asked for the police to be called.

She was asked if she was certain she wanted them to call the police, and thought yes call the police as it is the natural reaction for someone where  she was from to do so in that situation.

This is not the first conviction of its type involving foreigners and women from the Emirates, but the extramarital sex laws are not usually enforced for Westerners living and working in the UAE or tourists.

After being charged earlier this year, Dalelv received help from the government of Norway in gaining here conditional release.

Dalelv wanted Westerners to know about the difference in the criminal code in the UAE compared to the West, but is careful not to overly criticize the authorities.

Dalelv will appeal her conviction in September.

One Response

  1. Interesting…UAE is requiring rapist to confess in this era of unprecedented technological advancement.

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