Dubai pardons woman sentenced to 16 months in prison for reporting her rape

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A 24-year-old Norwegian woman is now free to leave Dubai after officials in the country dropped the 16-month prison sentence she was given as a result of reporting her rape to police.


Marte Deborah Dalelv went public with her case after she was was charged with having sex outside marriage and sentenced to more than a year in prison after she told law enforcement that she was raped by a colleague. Dalelv was also charged with making false statements and the illegal consumption of alcohol.

Dalelv told the Associated Press that she is “overjoyed” by news of the pardon. “I have my life back,” she added. “This is a great day.”

International outrage generated by Dalelv’s sentence may prove to be a catalyst to draw attention to the status of women’s human rights and the rights of sexual assault survivors under Dubai law, as Norway’s Foreign Minister Barth Eide told Norwegian news agency NTB: “The United Arab Emirates and Dubai is a rapidly changing society. This decision won’t only affect Marte Dalelv, who can travel home now if she wishes to, but also serve as a wake-up call regarding the legal situation in many other countries.”

Written By: Katie McDonough
continue to source article at salon.com

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  1. So since the “judiciary” is just another arm of the ‘ merciful’ government, what was the point of putting this poor woman through a trial and conviction in the first place?

    Either way, they come across as a bunch of f***ing barbarians.

  2. She should never have been charged in the first place but that’s a moot point considering who we’re dealing with but does anyone else get the feeling that the charges were only made and dropped to prove some kind of perverse point or did someone in the justice system grow a heart or realise the political shit-storm coming their way?

    • In reply to #3 by N_Ellis:

      Have they issued an apology? And what did they charge the man with?

      They will probably charge the scumbag with sweet FA or if they do it will not nearly be enough to what he deserves. As you know with rape in these places, it’s almost always the woman’s fault.

      • In reply to #4 by Springbox:

        In reply to #3 by NEllis:_

        Have they issued an apology? And what did they charge the man with?

        They will probably charge the scumbag with sweet FA or if they do it will not nearly be enough to what he deserves. As you know with rape in these places, it’s almost always the woman’s fault.

        Nah he was sentenced for prematrial sex for 12 month, and next 3 for drinking alcohol same as Norge girl (she get extra 1 month for false claims). Both were released by Dubai Emir.
        Btw. for rape in “these places” there is long stay in jail or death penalty,

      • In reply to #6 by QuestioningKat:

        In reply to #3 by N_Ellis:

        Have they issued an apology? And what did they charge the man with?

        13 months adultery

        Like I said next to nothing and his sentence says more about the UAE than the woman’s sentence.

    • In reply to #3 by N_Ellis:

      Have they issued an apology? And what did they charge the man with?

      The man was also pardoned, of course. Clearly one cannot only release a female victim when the assaulter is a man.
      Apparently this was all decided by the emir himself.

  3. Well, ain’t that special!! I guess half the planet has to call B.S. on these no class billionaires to get them to act like humans. I still wouldn’t set a foot in that P.O.S. country for love nor money. And I hope everybody gets those abbreviated curse words. This takes stupidity to a level beyond the stupid scale. Big Brother, if you’re listening, feel free to send them a couple of drones for being so nice and sweet.

  4. A country that wants to make the world believe that it’s a supermodern nation with edge technology, can’t afford to make fools of themselves; though, they did make fools of themselves. A couple of questions remain in the air, will the police go on with the investigation to arrest the rapist? Will the business woman be allowed to return to do business in Dubai and if not, why not?

    • In reply to #7 by Odalrich:

      A country that wants to make the world believe that it’s a supermodern nation with edge technology, can’t afford to make fools of themselves; though, they did make fools of themselves. A couple of questions remain in the air, will the police go on with the investigation to arrest the rapist? Will th…The so called edge technology only exists there because of the work of the expats like the Norwegian woman, and by the way, among others, using Israeli technology, their so called enemies. By themselves they’re not even capable of cutting a lump of butter so to speak.

      • In reply to #20 by Arwin:

        In reply to #7 by Odalrich:

        A country that wants to make the world believe that it’s a supermodern nation with edge technology, can’t afford to make fools of themselves; though, they did make fools of themselves. A couple of questions remain in the air, will the police go on with the investigation…

        Yes, you’re right. They can display a huge amount of technology, but they haven’t designed it ; as a matter of fact, they can’t even design a toothpick. Their minds are stultified and remain in Medieval times.

  5. This is the other end of the spectrum from the Assange case. Assange is accused of Swedish rape. What is rape to a Norwegian turns out to be extramarital sex in Dubai. There should be international standards for crimes, the most serious ones at least. Although it gets a bit difficult when the consumption of alcohol is a crime in one culture and a social lubricant in others.

  6. One of our neighbours is from Dubai and I’d love to be able to ask him what he thinks about this, but I don’t want to run the risk of falling out with a neighbour.

    Of course, he may have good reason not to live in his native country any more.

    See, religion really does poison everything.

    • But, they are rapidly changing; the problem is that they keep changing back.

      In reply to #14 by NearlyNakedApe:

      Norway’s Foreign Minister Barth Eide told Norwegian news agency NTB: “The United Arab Emirates and Dubai is a rapidly changing society.

      Really??? I beg to differ.

  7. This story is a bit more complex and has quite a few more details than is covered in this article. First of all: she was not sentenced for being raped or reporting that she had been raped.

    She reported being raped, but there was no clear evidence supporting her claim. Video from surveillance cameras showed that she followed the man to his room voluntarily. When she realised the police didn’t believe her, and after being advised to do so, she “admitted” she reported the rape while being under the influence of alcohol and changed her statement.

    This was supposed to be the easiest way to make it all go away. Instead, she had now stated, to the police, that she had broken three laws: sex outside marriage, drinking alcohol without a license, and making a false report. This is what she was imprisoned for. Legally speaking, this was not a rape case at all.

    Obviously, the way Dubai take care of women who are victims of sexual crimes leaves a lot to be desired. Nevertheless, we should strive to base our outrage on facts rather then hearsay. Hopefully, UAE will learn something from this as well, so that other women can report similar cases without fearing a punishment themselves.

    • In reply to #19 by borys.szpetnar:

      google
      Read This, and stop talk about this alleged rape as a fact. In most western media there is so many bullshit based on this what this woman talk without any proof.

      I have no reason to believe she’s lying (in fact, I’m pretty sure she’s not), but the media make it look like it’s a crime to be raped in Dubai. That’s obviously not true. Also, the claim that the law calls for four male witnesses to a rape to get someone sentenced is just a myth. I have no idea how e.g. BBC can make such a mistake. It should be easy enough for them to check it out.

      • In reply to #21 by steinask:

        Also, the claim that the law calls for four male witnesses to a rape to get someone sentenced is just a myth. I have no idea how e.g. BBC can make such a mistake. It should be easy enough for them to check it out.

        I guess shariaa required it, so journalist thought thats in UAE law its work same way. Anyway there is still no proof that she was raped, she came to her boss room voluntary (hotel camera), there wasn’t any violence, and she testify to public prosectour that she initiate sexual act.

  8. The authorities made it quite clear that they did not believe her and that she would be charged with sex outside marriage and drinking alcohol. She was persuaded to drop the rape allegation so that they would go easy on the other charges and she could go home. So then she is charged with providing false testimony as well and ends up with a prison sentence.

    Victims of rape in UAE are met with suspicion by the authorities and face social stigma. There are many laws, such as those regarding alcohol and extramarital sex, which are not widely enforced. In fact they seem to be very selectively enforced as in this case. A woman is going to be very reluctant to report sexual violence if she knows that she is unlikely to be believed and is more likely to be charged with extramarital sex and other crimes as in this case:

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/05/13/horrifying-australian-woman-gang-raped-in-dubai-then-jailed-for-8-months-for-sex-outside-marriage/

    Think how much more difficult it must be for the locals who would not attract so much attention from international media.

    Marte Dalelv also lost her job. Here is a statement from her employer

    ” We are sympathetic to Marte Dalelv during this very difficult situation. Al Mana Interiors has repeatedly offered Marte support and company representatives were by her side throughout the initial investigation and police interviews, and spent days at both the police station and the prosecutor’s office to help win her release.

    Company representatives have been supportive and in communication with Marte throughout her ordeal. Only when Ms. Dalelv declined to have positive and constructive discussions about her employment status, and ceased communication with her employer, was the company forced to end our relationship with her. The decision had nothing to do with the rape allegation, and unfortunately neither Ms. Dalelv nor her attorneys have chosen to contact the company to discuss her employment status.

    We continue to be open to helping Ms. Dalelv and extending her resources during the Dubai legal process. We are hopeful that we can resume a positive discussion about the assistance she needs during this difficult time. ”

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