By MAMAMIA TEAM
“Did you call the police because you didn’t like it?”
That’s what a police officer in the United Arab Emirates asked 24-year-old Marte Deborah Dalelv when she called to report a rape. And instantly, Dalelv knew the police did not believe her story.
It was March of this year that the Norwegian citizen, who had been working for two years at an interior design firm in the neighbouring country of Qatar, was allegedly raped by a colleague after a night out in Dubai.
Dalelv alleges that she asked her colleague to walk her to her hotel room at around 3am. When the pair were in a hotel corridor, the man pulled Dalely into a room which was not her own.
“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,'” Dalelv recently told United States broadcaster CNN.
The next thing she knew, Dalelv was naked and lying on her front and the man was raping her.
After she managed to make it downstairs to the hotel lobby, Dalelv did what she would have done if the crime had taken place in her home country: she called the police.
“That is what you do. We are trained on that from when we are very young,” she told CNN.
But here’s the thing. In her home country of Norway, calling the police to report a crime like a rape is expected.
But in the United Arab Emirates, laws of rape and sexual assault operate very, very differently.
The United Arab Emirates follows Sharia Law, which is the traditional Islamic law.
Under Sharia Law, people are prohibited from having sex outside of marriage and, unfortunately, rape falls under that law.
The law also prohibits people from drinking alcohol and taking drugs.
Under Sharia law, a rape allegation is not considered by the courts unless it was witnessed by at least four Muslim men who are each willing to testify and attest that the sex was non-consensual.
So when Dalelv told police that she had been raped – and that she was not married – she was charged with having unlawful sex after being held with no charge for a total of four days.