Sunday 25 February 2018

‘Dubai pardons woman jailed for reporting rape’

Norwegian Marte Deborah Dalelv's sentencing to 16 months in jail last week caused outrage in the West.
Norwegian Marte Deborah Dalelv's sentencing to 16 months in jail last week caused outrage in the West.

Rob Williams

Norwegian Marte Deborah Dalelv's sentencing to 16 months last week caused outrage in the West

A Norwegian woman who was jailed for illicit sex in Dubai after reporting that she had been raped, has been pardoned and told she is free to leave.

Norwegian Marte Deborah Dalelv's sentencing to 16 months in jail last week caused outrage in the West.

She told Associated Press that she had been given back her passport by the public prosecutor's office and that her sentence had been dropped.

The 42-year-old, who works as an interior designer in Qatar, was on a business trip to Dubai in March when the incident is alleged to have taken place.

She said she had been out at a bar with colleagues and on returning to her hotel at around 3am asked a male colleague to escort her to her room, because the building was large and confusing and she was concerned she would not be able to find her way.

On arriving at a room she realised was not hers she claims the man pulled her inside despite her objecting.

Following the alleged incident Dalelv said she was taken for an intimate examination, had her belongings taken and was kept in jail for four days - with no explanation why.

She only managed to contact her stepfather after being loaned a phone card by another woman in custody.

"My stepdad, he answered the phone, so I said, that I had been raped, I am in prison ... please call the embassy," she recounted.

"And then I went back and I ... just had a breakdown," she continued. "It was very emotional, to call my dad and tell him what happened."

Speaking out about her arrest and jailing earlier this week Dalelv said: "I have to spread the word. ... After my sentence we thought, 'How can it get worse?"'

Independent News Service

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