Previously published as:
Raped in a Dubai Starwood Hotel & sentenced to prison for being the victim
Starwood Hotels & Resorts with properties worldwide recently moved their global operations from the United States to Dubai. Visitors, foreign workers and tourists to Dubai be aware! Even though tourism is the number two income for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, it appears it's a very unfriendly and possibly dangerous place for foreign ladies. After this story one may have second thoughts about traveling to the metropolis of super attractions.
Thousands of Facebook, twitter and other social media postings already call for a tourism boycott for Dubai. One may have thoughts about boycotting a stay at any Sheraton, Westin, St. Regis, W Hotels, Le Meridien or other Starwood hotel.
Raped in a Starwood hotel in Dubai and sentenced to jail for it. This is a story of a Norwegian women who was sentenced to 16 months in prison for extramarital sex after she reported being raped in Dubai has been revealed for the first time today.
Smiling happily into the camera, Marte Deborah Dalelv looks like she doesn't have a care in the world. But the 24-year-old was brutally raped while on a business trip in United Arab Emirates and was handed a prison sentence for having sex outside of marriage after reporting it to police.
Ms Dalelv reported the sexual assault in March this year, after which she had to spend days in a cell before she was allowed to use a telephone.
With the help of family members, the Norwegian consulate was able to negotiate a release and she has been living under the protection of the Norwegian Sailor’s Church until her sentencing this week.
'I received the harshest sentence for sex outside marriage, harshest sentence for drinking alcohol and on top of that I was found guilty of perjury,’ she told Verdens Gang.
‘It is a terrible situation she is in,’ said Gisle Meling, the priest at the Norwegian Sailor’s Church. ‘We are very surprised and had hoped it would go another way, but we live in a country which has a justice system which draws its conclusions with the help of Sharia law.’
Ms Dalelv was sentenced to one year and four months in jail but as Norway has no extradition treaty with Dubai, her future is uncertain. The young Norwegian woman's story is not unique. Earlier this year Australian Alicia Gali, 27, spoke of how she was thrown in a Dubai jail for eight months after she reported a rape.
Miss Gali was working at hotel chain Starwood when her drink was spiked in the staff bar. She awoke to find that three colleagues had raped her, but when she went to a hospital for help, they turned her over to the police and she was charged with illicit sex outside marriage.
Under UAE law, rapists can only be convicted if either the perpetrator confesses or if four adult Muslim males witness the crime. Under the Sharia-influenced laws, sex before marriage is completely forbidden and an unmarried couple holding hands in public can be jailed. Foreigners jailed in Dubai are deported immediately after completing their sentences.