A British tourist has been arrested and charged with illegal “extra-marital sex” in Dubai after telling police she had been gang raped.
The 25-year-old woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was on holiday in the United Arab Emirates when she was allegedly attacked by two British men last month.
When she reported the rape at a police station, she was allegedly arrested for breaking Emirati laws against extra-marital sex, while her attackers have since flown home to the UK.
The UK-based Detained in Dubai campaign group said she has been released on bail but had her passport confiscated, meaning she cannot leave the country, and could face trial for offences with punishments including jail, deportation, flogging and stoning to death.
“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, the founder and director of Detained in Dubai, said the case a “tremendously disturbing“example of long-running abuses in the holiday resort.
“Police regularly fail to differentiate between consensual intercourse and violent rape,” she added. “Victims go to them expecting justice, and end up being prosecuted. They not only invalidate their victimisation, they actually punish them for it.”