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19-Year-old Gang Rape Victim to Receive 200 Lashes and 6 Months in Jail in Saudi Arabia

Posted by thehrdiary on June 27, 2016 at 9:15 PM Comments comments (0)

19-Year-old Gang Rape Victim to Receive 200 Lashes and 6 Months in Jail in Saudi Arabia

Read more at http://www.theinfopost.org/2015/03/19-year-old-gang-rape-victim-to-receive.html#8zl7TkT0PWmyGrIV.99


A Saudi Arabian woman must be accompanied by a male guardian — typically relative — at all times in public. The rape victim violated this law by meeting a friend to retrieve a picture.

A 19-year-old gang rape victim was sentenced to 200 lashes and to six months in jail for the crime of indecency and speaking to the press.


 By, The Clarion Project | h/t to Jennifer L. Kopp

Saudi Arabia defended a controversial verdict sentencing a 19-year-old gang rape victim to 200 lashes and six months in jail. The Shi’ite Muslim woman had initially been sentenced to 90 lashes after being convicted of violating Saudi Arabia’s rigid Islamic Sharia law on segregation of the sexes.

The decision handed down by the Saudi General Court more than doubled her sentence last week. The court also roughly doubled the prison sentences for the seven men convicted of raping her, Saudi media said.

The upholding of a decision to punish the victim triggered international outcry.

Canada said it would complain to Saudi authorities about the sentence, described as “barbaric”’ by Jose Verger, the Canadian minister responsible for the status of women.

The New York based Human Rights Watch said the verdict “not only sends victims of sexual violence the message that they should not press charges, but in effect offers protection and impunity to the perpetrators.”

While not directly criticizing the Saudi Arabia’s judiciary, U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said, “I think when you look at the crime and the fact that now the victim is punished, I think that causes a fair degree of surprise and astonishment. It is within the power of the Saudi government to take a look at the verdict and change it.”

However, the Saudi judiciary stood by its decision. “The Ministry of Justice welcomes constructive criticism, away from emotions,” it said in a statement.

The statement also said that the “charges were proven” against the woman for having been in a car with a strange male, and repeated criticism of her lawyer for talking “defiantly” about the judicial system, saying “it has shown ignorance.”

The woman’s lawyer, Abdul Rahman al-Lahem, reached out to the media. The court has since banned him from further defending the woman, confiscating his license and summoning him to a disciplinary hearing later this month.

The justice ministry implied the victim’s sentence was increased because she had spoken out to the press. “For whoever has an objection on verdicts issued, the system allows to appeal without resorting to the media,” said the statement carried on the official Saudi Press Agency.

The rape took place in 2006. The victim said it occurred as she tried to retrieve her picture from a male high school student she used to know.

While in a car with the student, two men got into the vehicle and drove them to a secluded area. She said she was raped there by seven men, three of whom also attacked her friend.

The case was referred back to the General Court by an appeals court last summer, after the woman’s lawyer contested the initial verdict, saying it was too lenient for the rapists and unjust for the victim.

Read more at http://www.theinfopost.org/2015/03/19-year-old-gang-rape-victim-to-receive.html#8zl7TkT0PWmyGrIV.99

Quirky Country laws: No kissing, no sex, no photos - how to avoid arrest in Dubai

Posted by thehrdiary on May 24, 2016 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (2)

Quirky Country laws: No kissing, no sex, no photos - how to avoid arrest in Dubai

 

http://www.traveller.com.au/no-kissing-no-sex-no-photos--how-to-avoid-arrest-in-dubai-1nf7o

At the quayside in the centre of Dubai, mountains of goods are left unguarded for days as they wait to be loaded onto boats bound for Iran.

The goods - including boxes of Panasonic flat-screen televisions and Whirlpool refrigerators - sit next to the Dubai Creek wharf without anyone present to keep an eye on them.

 

Welcome to the United Arab Emirates - a country with strict regulations, which translates into a low crime rate.

 

Tough rules, on the one hand, are a joy for tourists - there is no watching your back or having to keep your wits about you.

But on the flip side, the strict regulations mean Westerners can find themselves arrested or detained by police for something that in Australia might be considered rather harmless.

Aussies have been arrested in the past in the UAE for offences ranging from relatively minor infringements such as non-payment of hotel bills through to allegations of fraud and espionage.

The UAE (consisting of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras al Kaimah, Fujairah, Ajman, and Umm al Quwain) is a Muslim country and its local laws reflect the fact that Islamic practices and beliefs are closely applied.

Some of the seven emirates are more strict than others: Sharjah and Ajman, for instance, strictly enforces Islamic law, while Dubai and Abu Dhabi - both with thriving, mainstream tourist industries - are more relaxed.

Each year almost 1000 Australians are arrested overseas and about 220 are in prisons overseas at any one time, according to Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Here are some tips on how to avoid being arrested during a visit to the UAE:

THE MIDDLE FINGER: Swearing and making rude gestures are criminal acts in the UAE and may result in significant penalties.

KISSING: Public displays of affection, such as holding hands and kissing, are socially unacceptable. There have been arrests for public displays of affection.

BROKE: Bouncing cheques and non-payment of bills may result in imprisonment or fines.

UNDRESSED: In situations other than the beach or swimming pool, a woman's clothing might be considered indecent if it is tight, transparent, above the knee or shows her stomach, shoulders or back.

CHATTING UP WOMEN: It is illegal to harass women. This includes unwanted conversation, prolonged stares and glaring.

PHOTOS: Taking photographs of local people, particularly women, without permission and where there has been no previous contact is illegal and can lead to arrest or fines.

RAMADAN: During the holy month of Ramadan, non-Muslims are expected to refrain from eating, drinking and smoking in public in front of Muslims between sunrise and sunset.

SEX: Sex outside marriage is banned. Homosexual acts and prostitution are illegal and subject to severe punishment.

DRINK DRIVING: It is illegal to have any alcohol in your blood when driving.

DRUGS: The UAE has a zero-tolerance policy towards drugs and penalties for drug trafficking include the death penalty or life in jail.

MEDICATION: Medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia may be illegal or considered a controlled substance in the UAE. Check the status of the medication before bringing it into the country.

* Source: Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

 

 

 

 

Quirky Country laws: Norwegian woman: I was raped in Dubai, now I face prison sentence

Posted by thehrdiary on May 24, 2016 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Quirky Country laws: Norwegian woman: I was raped in Dubai, now I face prison sentence

By Nicola Goulding and Phil O'Sullivan, CNN

Updated 2041 GMT (0441 HKT) July 21, 2013

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/07/20/world/meast/uae-norway-rape-controversy/

Norwegian interior designer Marte Deborah Dalelv has spoken out after being handed a 16-month prison sentence in Dubai -- after she went to police to report she had been raped by a colleague.

The 24-year-old was convicted and sentenced on charges of having unlawful sex, making a false statement and illegal consumption of alcohol.

Her story is dominating the headlines in Norway, and has raised serious questions over the way women who allege sexual assault are treated in the United Arab Emirates.

Dalelv, who had been working at an interior design firm in Qatar since September 2011, told CNN on Saturday how a work trip to Dubai in March with three colleagues turned into a nightmare.

She said she had been out at a bar with her colleagues and friends, and asked a male colleague to walk her to her room when they returned at 3 a.m. to the hotel. She'd asked him to escort her because the hotel was large and confusing, and she didn't want to be wandering on her own, knowing she'd been drinking, she said.

 

This family handout photo taken in Abu Dhabi in May 2013 shows Norwegian businesswoman Marte Deborah Dalelv, 24.

When they reached a room, she realized it wasn't hers -- but the man then pulled her inside despite her vocal objections, according to Dalelv.

"He dragged me by my purse in, so I thought, 'OK, I just need to calm the situation down. I will finish my bottle of water, I will sit here and then I will excuse myself and say I feel fine,'" she said.

That was pretty much the last thing she said she remembers before the alleged sexual assault. "I woke up with my clothes off, sleeping on my belly, and he was raping me. I tried to get off, I tried to get him off, but he pushed me back down."

After someone knocked -- the hotel wake-up call -- she managed to get dressed and make it downstairs to the hotel reception, Dalelv said. "I called the police. That is what you do. We are trained on that from when we are very young," she said.

Some 10 or 12 male police officers arrived, but no female police officers were present, she said. Statements were taken from both Dalelv and the alleged rapist.

She was then taken to Bur Dubai police station, she said.

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After again giving her version of events to officers, Dalelv said, "They asked me, 'Are you sure you called the police because you just didn't like it?' I said, 'Well of course I didn't like it.' That is when I knew, I don't think they are going to believe me at all."

Dalelv says she was taken for an intimate medical exam and tested for alcohol consumption. Her belongings were taken and she was kept in jail for four days, she said, with no explanation as to why.

Dubai police and UAE government officials have not responded to repeated CNN requests for comment.

Dalelv said she managed to call her parents on the third day to tell them she had been raped and ask them to contact the Norwegian Embassy. A day later, a representative from the Norwegian consulate came to the police station and she was released -- but her passport was not returned.

A piece of paper with Arabic text was handed to her, she said. An Arabic speaker told her it listed two charges against her: one for sex outside of marriage and the other for public consumption of alcohol. Both are violations of the law in the United Arab Emirates.

It was the first time she was made aware that she faced charges, Dalelv said.

She was allowed out on bail and has been staying since at the Norwegian Seaman's Center in Dubai.

Subsequently, she said her manager advised her to tell the police it was voluntary sexual intercourse and likely the whole issue would just go away. She followed the advice and in one of the many hearings at the public prosecutor's office, she made a statement saying it was voluntary.

Dalelv was then charged with making a false statement.

"That was my biggest regret because it wasn't voluntary. I just thought it would all go away," she told CNN.

But a representative of Al Mana Interiors, who Dalelv worked for, told CNN that she was not advised by her manager to say the sex was consensual but rather by a police officer, who told her that in Arabic and it was translated into English by her manager.

Dalelv said a month after the rape, while forced to stay in Dubai as the case wound through the legal system, she was fired.

The representative, who declined to be publicly identified, said Dalelv and the Sudanese man she accused -- who is married with three children -- have both been terminated by Al Mana Interiors for "drinking alcohol at a staff conference that resulted in trouble with the police."

A statement released late Saturday by Al Mana Interiors spokesman Hani El Korek said the company was sympathetic to Dalelv "during this very difficult situation." It also said that company representatives were by her side through the initial investigation, spending "days at both the police station and the prosecutor's office to help win her release."

"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 statement said.

"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."

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The company is owned by Qatari billionaire Wissam Al Mana, who made headlines earlier this year after it was revealed that he has secretly married singer Janet Jackson in 2012.

Dalelv was convicted Tuesday on all three charges and was sentenced to one year in jail for having unlawful sex, three months in jail for making a false statement and one month for illegal consumption of alcohol.

CNN could not immediately confirm what happened to the alleged perpetrator, who was charged with public intoxication and having sex outside of marriage.

Dalelv is scheduled to appear at the court on September 5 to begin the appeal proceedings. Dalelv, who is not allowed to leave the UAE pending the appeal, said her lawyers have instructed her to be prepared to go back into jail while they submit a request for bail while the appeal is ongoing.

As a rule, CNN does not identify victims of sexual assault, but Dalelv went public with her story.

A Facebook page has been set up calling for Dalelv's release, as well as a petition urging the Norwegian government to take action on her behalf.

Her conviction may risk wider diplomatic repercussions.

Norwegian Foreign Affairs Minister Espen Barth Eide called his UAE counterpart, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed al-Nahyan, on Friday night to protest Dalelv's sentencing, a statement from the Norwegian ministry said.

"I emphasized that we believe that the conviction is contrary to fundamental human rights, including conventions that the UAE have officially ratified," Eide is quoted as saying.

"Norway will continue to do what we can to support her in what is a very difficult situation. Our cooperation with the UAE is strong and good, but I conveyed to my colleague that we are worried that this difficult case may disturb our good relations if we do not reach a good solution in the near future."

Dalelv told CNN she received a call from Eide on Friday reiterating Norway's support.

While Dubai has a reputation as a cosmopolitan city that boasts Western influences, where visitors can drink at bars and restaurants and unmarried couples can share hotel rooms, the country adheres to Islamic laws and traditions.

The United Arab Emirates has been heavily criticized by rights groups, which say it condones sexual violence against women. Human Rights Watch has called its record "shameful," saying it must change the way it handles such cases.

In December 2012, a British woman reported being raped by three men in Dubai. She was found guilty of drinking alcohol without a license and fined.

In January 2010, a British woman told authorities she was raped by an employee at a Dubai hotel. She was charged with public intoxication and having sex outside of marriage.

An Australian woman reported in 2008 that she was drugged and gang-raped. She was convicted of having sex outside marriage and drinking alcohol, and she was sentenced to 11 months in prison.

 


Quirky Country laws: UAE woman 'fined and deported' for checking husband's phone

Posted by thehrdiary on May 24, 2016 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (0)

UAE woman 'fined and deported' for checking husband's phone

18 May 2016

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-36320749?ocid=socialflow_facebook&ns_mchannel=social&ns_campaign=bbcnews&ns_source=facebook

A woman in the United Arab Emirates has been fined and deported after being found guilty of breaching her husband's privacy, reports say.

Local media said the woman checked her husband's mobile phone after becoming suspicious he was having an affair.

The husband complained to the police and his wife was prosecuted under a cybercrime law, Gulf News reported.

The unnamed woman - an Arab expatriate in the UAE - was fined 150,000 dirhams (£28,000; $41,000), the report said.

She admitted to the court that she had accessed his phone without permission and transferred photos to her device, her lawyer told Gulf News.

The lawyer, Eman Sabt, said the couple were in their 30s and of Arab origin, but gave no other information.