Friday, February 14, 2014

UAE: Update--Just When a Rape Victim is Down and Out, the Emotional Pain Continues

According to the UAE-based TheNational, an Austrian citizen in her 20s, who was rescued from the UAE and returned to her homeland by her own Austrian Foreign Ministry after  reporting that she had been raped by a Yemini she met in a Dubai nightclub, is now facing charges by prosecutors of having  consensual sex out of wedlock and consuming alcohol.

The unidentified Austrian woman did not appear in court on Thursday (February 13), as on January 30, she returned to Vienna in the company of diplomats from the Austrian Foreign Ministry. 

Previously, she had told police that she was raped by  a Yemeni national, 27, in the back seat of his car. However, when later interrogated by prosecutors, she said the sex had been with her consent. 

COMMENT: It is unknown as to whether, when interrogated by prosecutors, the alleged rape victim was represented by an attorney of her choosing.

The Yemeni national approached the victim in a club and asked her to join him at his table. Soon afterwards, he suggested they go for a drive in his car at which point she resisted, but eventually gave in because she was "scared, drunk and dizzy."

The Austrian said that after the Yemeni left her to fend for herself, she saw bystanders and asked them to call police. 

Dubai police eventually arrested the woman's assailant at his residence in Sharjah, while the rape victim was arrested in her hotel for drinking alcohol.

Prosecutors, however, say the Austrian woman changed her story during interrogation, admitting that the sex was consensual.

It is unknown as to why the victim suddenly changed her mind during questioning and said that intercourse was consensual, perhaps because of her intoxicated state, which in most countries would be inadmissible.

On Thursday (February 13) the Yemeni national said he had agreed to pay the Austrian woman Dh1,200 (US$327.00) for sex.

So…where is the money that the Yemeni reportedly gave to the Austrian?

“Then we had an intercourse in the back seat. After we finished she received a phone call and told me she had to leave, at which point I gave her Dh500 only, because the agreement was to spend the night with me but she only spent a few hours,” he said, adding that she got angry at him. 

To make matters worse, the Yemeni pleaded not guilty to having consensual intercourse outside wedlock. He was also never charged with rape.

The Austrian woman's attorney said she would return to the UAE for the next hearing, which was scheduled for March 6.

According to Dubai prosecutors, the rape victim failed to attend a hearing on February 2nd, to determine if she had been raped or had agreed to consensual sex.

It should be noted that the "woman's advocate" was a man.

"In her statement in the presence of men only, the Austrian rape victim confirmed that the Yemeni duped her into going to his car in the hotel parking garage where he raped her in the back seat after locking the car doors. 

On January 28, 2014, prosecutors referred the footage of the surveillance cameras to the Technical Office of Dubai’s Attorney-General for further investigation. No decision has been taken pertaining to the primary charges as the investigation continues,” said the senior prosecutor.

The Austrian alleges that she was pressured by the man and his father, the latter of whom is a police officer, into confessing to having consensual sex for money.
The fact that the Austrian Foreign Ministry sent a senior representative to Dubai to bring the young rape victim back to Vienna suggests that they have little confidence in the UAE's treatment of women in the Emirates.
No doubt, foreign women visiting the UAE almost never get transparent treatment in the UAE's form of jurisprudence, which is exactly why the Austrian Foreign Ministry insisted in returning the rape victim to her home country.