A Norwegian woman who reported to police in Dubai that she’d been raped while on a business trip in the fast-growing Gulf city ended up being jailed herself. Her sentence is longer than her convicted rapist’s.
The 25-year-old’s trip to Dubai in March turned into a nightmare after she reported the rape and was jailed for having had sex outside of marriage and for drinking alcohol. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that her passport was seized and she wasn’t allowed to borrow a telephone for three days. Then she called her family in Norway.They mobilized the Foreign Ministry, and Norway’s consulate in Dubai managed to get her out of jail and housed at the local Norwegian Seamans Church, where she remained until her sentence recently was handed down: prison for one year and four months. Her attacker was sentenced to one year and one month, Anniken Meling of the Seamans Church told NRK.
The foreign ministry reported that Norway has no extradition treaty with Dubai, which was described as a Muslim police state. That means tourists and visitors are usually safe as long as they follow local laws. They include laws against extra-marital sex and drinking outside of restaurants and bars in the biggest hotels, leaving rape victims vulnerable. An appeal was pending.