Tuesday, November 20, 2012

UAE: Pakistani, Locals Rape Vietnamese Tourist, 24, Assailants Sentenced to Three Years

According to local media, the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance sentenced one Pakistani and two Emiratis to three years' imprisonment for the rape and robbery of of a Vietnamese tourist, 24, which occurred on October 20.

The assailants, a Pakistani, 19, and two Emiratis, 19 and 21, were also charged with the theft of the victim's mobile phone, her passport and Dh1,700 (US$463).  

The victim testified that on October 20, she was in the Dubai Mall with her friend when a man approached her and gave her his mobile phone number. He later called her and asked her to join he and his friends at a local hotel for drinks. 

When he asked her to go with him to his house, she got into his car at which point he drove to an isolated area where two Emiratis, claiming to be police officers, stopped them and asked them what they were doing out so late at night.

The bogus cops then grabbed the woman's handbag and asked her to sit in the backseat, at which point the they began forcibly undressing her. The end result is that the young woman was forcibly raped by all three men.

COMMENT: Although it is easier to suggest to foreign travelers not to associate with people they don't know than to have an expectation that they might actually heed such advice, it is never a prudent idea for tourists to place themselves into vulnerable situations with strangers. 

This advice would particularly apply to solo travelers, regardless of gender.  

A subsequent forensic examination revealed evidence that the rape victim resisted her assailants. DNA analysis also confirmed that the tourist had been raped.

At the time of their arrest, the assailants also surrendered the victim's personal property that had been stolen from her.

During sentencing, the Pakistani defendant was ordered deported AFTER he served his three-year sentence.

Women who travel solo should be reminded that not only are women alone targeted by criminals in the Middle East. Also, local laws in such countries rarely assign any degree of severity for those found guilty of rape. 

It is suggested that women destined for the Middle East find a traveling partner so as to reduce their risk of victimization.