Monday, February 3, 2014

UAE: Austrian Government Helps Rape Victim Return to Her Native Land

According to Reuters, an Austrian Muslim, 29, a rape victim at the center of a forcible rape case in Dubai has returned home with the help of Austria's Foreign Ministry after an online campaign on her behalf.

The rape victim told authorities she was raped in the underground garage of a luxury hotel in early December 2013 and was then jailed for several days.

The Austrian woman reported the case to the Austrian Embassy four days later.

According to The Gulf News, the rape victim was facing possible charges herself for consuming alcohol and having consensual sex with a Yemeni rapist, who denied the rape ever occurred and said he had agreed to have sex with the Austrian for money.

Islam bans extramarital sex and alcohol for Muslims. In Dubai, the most cosmopolitan of the seven-member UAE federation. 

COMMENT: Officials in Dubai could not be reached for comment on the Austrian woman's case at the weekend, REUTERS reported.

Michael Linhart, secretary-general of the Austrian Foreign Ministry, told ORF radio that Vienna had been in touch with Dubai officials and provided legal assistance on the woman's behalf.

The Foreign Ministry authorized a diplomat to travel to Dubai from Vienna and return the rape victim to Austria, where she is described as doing well and glad to be in a safe environment.

The Avaaz advocacy group (http://www.avaaz.org) said 250,000 people had signed an online petition calling for the woman to be released.

Dubai attracts large numbers of expatriates and tourists with a Western lifestyle, many of whom fall victim to the UAE’s outdated conservative laws on sex and alcohol.

In July, Dubai pardoned a Norwegian woman who had been sentenced to jail for illicit sex after reporting being raped by a Muslim colleague while on a visit to the Emirates.

It is refreshing that the word is finally getting out amongst those in Western nations that the UAE wants foreigners to visit to spend money in the Emirates.

It is seemingly untrue that the country embraces Westernized values. They do not. 

My personal advice is that if you do NOT have a residence visa in the Emirates DO NOT drink alcohol anywhere in the country even if you can purchase an alcoholic drink at a hotel or other establishment.

Do NOT engage in sexual relations with anyone you’re not married to, particularly if you do not possess a valid UAE liquor license.

If you are raped by a Muslim do NOT report your victimization to the police, as you may be arrested, convicted and imprisoned. 

Even if you do have a residence visa in the UAE, local police can arrest you for being publicly intoxicated.

Save the http://www.avaaz.org website, as it may come in very handy in the future, particularly if you travel abroad. 

As a matter of interest, the Austrian Foreign Ministry apparently takes very good care of its citizens, which is far more than some foreign affairs agencies do for their nationals.