Sunday, 10 January 2010

Woman arrested after filing rape report in Dubai

From the Sydney Morning Herald 10 Jan '10
The original article is from Britain's Sun newspaper
A BRITISH woman who made a rape complaint in Dubai has been arrested for having illegal sex with her fiance, according to reports.
The 23-year-old from London said she had been raped by a waiter in a luxury hotel after celebrating her engagement to her 44-year-old boyfriend, also from London.
But when she reported the alleged rape to police in the Middle Eastern state, she and her boyfriend were arrested for having sex outside marriage and illegally drinking outside a licensed premises.
The British Foreign Office said two Britons had been arrested on New Year's Day and bailed but would give no further details. A spokeswoman said: ''Our embassy in Dubai is providing consular assistance.''
After her boyfriend proposed on their three-day break to the city, she allegedly became inebriated while celebrating and lost consciousness in the women's toilets at the Address hotel, where they were staying, The Sun reported.
The waiter is said to have followed her into the toilets and raped her while she was semi-conscious. Her fiance, unaware of the attack, took her to her room. 
The following day, after realising what had happened, the couple went to the Jebel Ali police station to report the alleged attack.
Police began to question the couple about breaking the emirate's strict decency laws.
Usual rape procedures were ignored and the woman was given a full medical check and a morning-after pill only after the intervention of British embassy staff, the British paper reported.
Her attacker is believed to have denied rape - saying the woman, a Muslim of Pakistani descent, had consented - but he has also been charged with ''illegal sex''.  It is understood that the couple are still in Dubai. They could face up to six years in jail if found guilty of having sex outside marriage.
Dubai's strict laws have previously caused problems for British tourists. In February 2008 BBC radio presenter DJ Grooverider, whose real name is Raymond Bingham, was jailed for four years after he was caught with a small amount of marijuana but he was pardoned after serving 10 months.
In July 2008 businessman Vince Acors and publishing executive Michelle Palmer received three-month jail terms after being convicted of having sex on a beach. On his return to Britain, Mr Acors said: ''Dubai is a massive contradiction - everything is available yet everything is illegal.''
Amnesty International condemned the way the Dubai authorities had handled the rape allegation.
Kate Allen, the organisation's British director, said: ''[They] should be investigating claims that a real offence … may have taken place.
''Where are the police's priorities in all of this?''

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