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 McDonoughcontinue to source article at salon.com