Human Rights Voices

While the UN devotes its human rights operations to the demonization of the democratic state of Israel above all others and condemns the United States more often than the vast majority of non-democracies around the world, the voices of real victims around the world must be heard.

United Arab Emirates, February 1, 2014

Austrian rape victim was arrested for having sex outside of marriage in UAE when she reported the crime... and told she had to marry her attacker

Original source

Daily Mail

An Austrian woman who was raped in Dubai has been arrested for having extra martial sex and was told by police she could only avoid jail if she married her attacker.

The 29-year-old student from Vienna was facing a jail sentence having been accused of having sex outside of marriage and drinking alcohol, both of which are illegal in the United Arab Emirate capital.

It was only after the Austrian Foreign Ministry intervened, that she was able to leave the country and return home.

The unnamed woman, who is understood to be Muslim, had been to a party at a hotel where the rules on alcohol are often lax, according to Austrian officials.

She said the attack happened in an underground car park after a Yemeni man in Dubai approached her.

When she reported it to police, she was arrested and told she could only escape being charged if she agreed to marry the man she said had attacked her.

The student was released after a special crisis team was sent by the Austrian Foreign Ministry to Dubai to negotiate with the authorities. She was greeted by Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz when she landed in Vienna yesterday.

An online petition also helped to bring attention to the situation, gaining over 260,000 signatures calling for her release in just a few days.

Her quick release came as a surprise because, as a Muslim, she would likely have been treated more severely than non-Muslim Western visitors in trouble with police because of the strict Islamic rules surrounding drinking.

Her case has been compared the eventual pardon of a 24-year-old Norwegian woman who was given a prison sentence of one year and four months by a Dubai court after she reported her own rape last year.

Instead of being treated as a victim, she was found guilty of alcohol abuse and extramarital sex.

She was later pardoned and allowed to return to Norway after there was a global outcry about her treatment.