Qatar Jails Dutch Woman For Reporting Her Rape

Instead of looking into the rape allegations, authorities in Qatar detained the woman on suspicion of adultery.

vacation in Qatar

A Dutch woman who was on a vacation in Qatar was arrested on suspicion of adultery after reporting to the police that she had been raped.

The 22-year-old woman, identified only as Laura, has been in jail for three months now and is set to appear in court this week.

According to the lawyer, Brian Lokollo, hired by her family, she had gone to a hotel where she consumed alcohol, which, she later felt had been drugged. She reportedly regained consciousness in an unfamiliar location and realized "to her great horror" that she had been sexually assaulted.

The suspect claims the act was consensual and she later asked him for money also.

Instead of investigating the woman's allegations, the police imprisoned her in March.

"I don't know what the charges are. To my knowledge she is being held in custody because she reported that she was raped," Lokollo told CNN.

She is set to appear before a judge in Doha where the official charges leveled against her will be heard for the first time.

Recommended: Woman Reports Rape, Cops Respond By Sexually Assaulting Her

A Google search of Qatar and Dubai shows some all-too-familiar photos; a skyline to rival New York's, buildings whose lights glitter on the sea.

But under this gleaming facade is a reality the Gulf countries hide all too well.

These countries are the worst places to exist if you are: a minority, one of the countless members of the predominantly South Asian labor force, or a woman.

Laws pertaining to sexual assault in these countries are heavily influenced by hard-line interpretation of Islamic teachings, which tend to blame the victim instead of catching the perpetrator.

In a similar incident, nearby United Arab Emirates arrested a Norwegian woman who reported being raped by a colleague in 2013. She was sentenced to 16 months in jail, for charged including illicit sex, making a false statement and illegal consumption of alcohol.

The country eventually "pardoned" the woman who later warned others of the risks involved in rape cases in the Gulf country.

Read More: UAE Pardons Norwegian Woman Jailed In Dubai After Reporting Rape

The Dutch embassy is in contact with Laura. Dutch foreign ministry spokeswoman Daphne Kerremans saidalthough the woman remains in custody, she has not yet been booked. 

“The inquiry is ongoing,” Kerremans said.

Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Ali Jarekji

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