Saturday, 8 December 2012
From The Independent:
A British woman who was allegedly kidnapped and gang raped by three men in Dubai has been prosecuted for drinking without a licence, throwing a spotlight on the United Arab Emirates’ archaic legal system, which rights groups say does not do enough to protect victims of sexual assault.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claims she was raped repeatedly by the three men who filmed the attack after they lured her into their car as she returned from a night out with friends.
After reporting her ordeal to the police, the 28-year-old found herself in the dock because she admitted she had been drinking earlier that night.
Human Rights Watch has called on the UAE to improve its judicial practices for rape victims, saying those reporting crimes too often end up being charged themselves.
Lulled into a false sense of security by the drinking culture encouraged in the five-star hotels that line the shores of the oil-rich Emirate, expatriates often find themselves on the wrong side of the country’s strict laws. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office says British nationals are more likely to be arrested in the UAE than anywhere else in the world.
Britons who fell foul of UAE laws
Veins Acors, 35, and Michelle Palmer, 37, were charged with unmarried sex and public indecency after having sex on Jumeirah Beach in July, 2008. The couple were sentenced to three months in jail, which was later suspended on appeal.
Ayman Najafi, 24, and Charlotte Lewis, 25, were each sentenced to one month in prison in 2010 after being accused of kissing on the lips in a restaurant. The pair maintained they exchanged a peck on the cheek solely as a greeting.
Businessman Steven Sherriff, 43, was jailed for six months after being accused of pinching a woman’s backside in a bar. Sherriff successfully appealed the verdict but was left in financial ruin after amassing legal bills of up to £70,000.
Rebecca Blake, 29, and Conor McRedmond, 27, were jailed for three months and fined over £1,000 after allegedly having drunken sex in the back of a taxi. The couple denied the charges of unlawful sex and DNA tests later confirmed their innocence.
Posted on 12/08/2012 5:33 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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