Saturday, January 09, 2010

British woman arrested in Dubai after reporting rape

A British woman who made a rape complaint in Dubai has been arrested for having illegal sex with her fiance. The woman, a 23-year-old from London, said she was raped by a waiter in a luxury hotel after celebrating her engagement to her 44-year-old boyfriend, also from London.

But when she reported the alleged rape to police in the Middle Eastern state she and her boyfriend were arrested for having sex outside marriage and illegal drinking outside licensed premises.

The Foreign Office confirmed that two British people had been arrested and bailed, but would give no further details. A spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that two British nationals were arrested in Dubai on 1 January. Our embassy in Dubai is providing consular assistance."

The woman was allegedly inebriated after celebrating her engagement on a three-day new year break to the city, where her boyfriend proposed, and lost consciousness in the women's toilets of the Address hotel where the couple were staying.

The waiter is said to have followed her into the toilets and raped her while she was in a semi-conscious state. Her fiance, unaware of the attack, took her to her room. The next day, after realising what had happened, the couple went to the Jebel Ali police station to report the crime.

Police began to question the couple about breaking the emirate's strict decency laws. Usual rape procedures were ignored and the woman was given a full medical check and a morning-after pill only after the intervention of British embassy staff. Her attacker is believed to have denied rape, saying the woman, a British Muslim of Pakistani descent, consented, but he has also been charged with "illegal sex". It is understood the couple have been bailed but are still in Dubai. They could face up to six years if found guilty of having sex outside marriage.

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