Marte Deborah Dalelv: Dubai Pardons Rape Victim

Marte Deborah Dalelv was pardoned by authorities in Dubai. Dalelv was sentenced to spend 16 months in prison for having sex outside marriage. Dalelv was charged with the crime after reporting that she was raped.

Dalelv filed a report with the Dubai police, claiming that she was raped by a co-worker. Following a medical examination, Dalelv was charged and detained for sex outside marriage, consuming alcohol, and making a false report.

As reported by CBS News, Marte Deborah Dalelv, a Norwegian native, was stunned with the charges. She was even more disturbed when she was sentenced to spend 16 months in prison for her crimes.

The man who raped her was sentenced to 13 months for sex outside marriage and drinking alcohol.

Dalelv shared her story in an attempt to raise awareness about the United Arab Emirates’ legal system. Although Dalelv worked in Qatar since 2011, she was unaware that she could be jailed for reporting a rape.

The punishment was strongly criticized by authorities in Norway. Espen Barth Edie, Norway’s foreign minister, states that the “verdict flies in the face of our notion of justice.” He further explains that the situation is “highly problematic from a human rights perspective.”

As reported by NBC News, officials in Norway were able to negotiate Marte Deborah Dalelv’s release. She states that she is “very, very happy… overjoyed.”

Dalelv was released from prison and her passport has been returned.

Authorities in Dubai have not released a statement as to why they allowed the pardon. Observation of Ramadan, which traditionally includes clemency, may have influenced their decision.

As Dubai hopes to hist the 2020 World Expo, the city’s reputation may have also been a concern.

Barth Eide credits international media with sharing Dalelv’s story. He issued a statement announcing her freedom and thanking those who took interest in her plight.

Marte Deborah Dalelv has been pardoned by Dubai, narrowly avoiding a 16 month prison sentence. As she continues to share her story, she hopes to raise awareness and warn others to be conscious of foreign legal systems.

[Image via Flickr]