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British rape victim charged with 'extra-marital sex', arrested in Dubai

File photo. Photograph: (AFP)

WION Dubai Nov 16, 2016, 09.14 PM (IST)

A 25-year-old British woman who had been gang raped was arrested by police after reporting the matter on charges of illegal "extra-marital sex" in Dubai. 

The woman was raped by two British men while holidaying in the United Arab Emirates last month. The men have returned back home. 

The woman's family claim the men taped the attack while taking turns to rape her at a hotel. 

UK-based Detained in Dubai has taken her case and is in touch with her family. The group said the woman has been released on bail but her passport has been confiscated and under the law she could face jail time, deportation, flogging or stoned to death. 

In UAE, all sexual relations outside marriage are deemed illegal. Under the UAE's understanding of Sharia law, if the rapist confessess or evidence is given by four adult men then rape is confirmed. 

“They have taken her passport as lawyers thrash it out. She is staying with an English family but she is absolutely terrified,” a family friend told The Sun.

“She went to the police as the victim as one of the worst ordeals imaginable but she is being treated as the criminal.”

Radha Stirling, founder of Detained in Dubia said "Police regularly fail to differentiate between consensual intercourse and violent rape," and "victims go to them expecting justice, and end up being prosecuted.  They not only invalidate their victimisation, they actually punish them for it."

The foreign and commonwealth office was aware of the woman's situation and were in contact with the local officials, The Independent reported. 

Such cases are common in UAE, the men go scot free while the woman is punished. 

"The horrible case at hand shows that it is still not safe for victims to report these crimes to the police without the risk of suffering a double punishment," Sterling said.

(WION)

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