Another shocking incident of the justice system turning against a rape victim in Dubai has hit the headlines. A 25-year-old British tourist in Dubai alleges she was raped by two British men who were also vacationing. She may wind up in jail because of it, The Huffington Post reported.
When she reported the rape to police, she was charged for extramarital sex. Sex outside of marriage is banned in the United Arab Emirates. Meanwhile, the two men have flown back home to Birmingham, according to reports.
A researcher for Amnesty International, Drewery Dyke, said that, “rape victims have been accused of having engaged in illicit sexual relations, while the rape allegations themselves have been left uninvestigated.”
Unfortunately, this is the case for the anonymous woman, who was assaulted in Dubai. The victim’s mother reportedly said, “We know who the culprits are, but as far as I’m aware West Midlands Police aren’t doing anything.”
Last year, an investigation by BBC Arabic found that hundreds of women face similar situations each year for extramarital sex in the UAE. Among those particularly affected are domestic female migrant workers. Moreover, some women are also flogged along with ending up in prison.
Rothna Begum, a researcher at Human Rights Watch in London, said, “Because the UAE authorities have not clarified what they mean by indecency, the judges can use their culture and customs and sharia ultimately to broaden out that definition and convict people for illicit sexual relations or even acts of public affection.”
Marte Dalelv, a Norwegian woman who was on a business trip in Dubai, received a 16 month jail sentence in 2013 after she was allegedly raped, but was later released.
The UAE’s strict criminal laws indicate an unbalanced justice system which often favors men over women. It’s a disgrace that a woman who was gang-raped by two men now has to deal with legal troubles of her own.
Banner photo: Twitter, @IMPANKS