Woman who reported rape detained
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP):
A Dutch woman who told Qatari police that she had been drugged and raped in March has been in government detention ever since on unclear charges, a lawyer said yesterday.
The Dutch Embassy in Qatar confirmed that the woman remained held ahead of a scheduled hearing tomorrow in Doha. The case highlights the clash between the Islamic-based legal codes governing Qatar and other Gulf nations as they try to draw in tourists expecting the protection of Western-style laws.
The 22-year-old woman, on a vacation with a friend, went out for drinks at a hotel bar in the Qatari capital on March 15, lawyer Brian Lokollo said. While there, she believes someone "messed with her drink" and her memory became hazy, Lokollo said. She later awoke alone, her clothes torn, and the victim of a rape, he said.
She was immediately detained after reporting the attack, Lokollo said. She has appeared three times in court and thinks she may face an adultery charge for having sex out of wedlock, he said. The man she reported as her assailant has also been detained, he said.
Initially, her family and her employer wanted to keep the case quiet and try to work it out locally, but decided to go public this weekend with Dutch media. A social media campaign has been launched to call for her release.
In a statement, the Dutch Embassy said it is "in close contact with the defendant and her family" and has provided consular services.
Alcohol is available at high-end hotels in Qatar and duty-free shops at its massive international airport. However, residents must have permission from their employers to buy at the country's only government-run liquor store. Sex out of wedlock is illegal.