Marte Deborah Dalelv from Norway, 24, talks to a reporter in Dubai on Friday, July 19, 2013, after she was sentenced to 16 months in jail for having sex outside of marriage after she reported an alleged rape. Dalelv says she decided to make her case public in hopes of drawing attention to the risks of getting caught up in the Islamic-influenced legal system in the wealthy Gulf city-state. The case has drawn outrage from rights groups and others in the West since the 24-year-old interior designer was sentenced Wednesday. But it also highlights the increasingly frequent tensions between the United Arab Emirates' international atmosphere and its legal system.
"I have to spread the word. ... After my sentence we thought, 'How can it get worse?'" Marte Deborah Dalelv told The Associated Press in an interview at a Norwegian aid compound in Dubai where she is preparing her appeal scheduled for early September.
Dalelv, who worked for an interior design firm in Qatar since 2011, claims she was sexually assaulted by a co-worker in March while she was attending a business meeting in Dubai.
She said she fled to the hotel lobby and asked for the police to be called. The hotel staff asked if she was sure she wanted to involve the police, Dalelv said.
"Of course I want to call the police," she said. "That is the natural reaction where I am from."
Dalelv said she was given a medical examination seeking evidence of the alleged rape and underwent a blood test for alcohol. Such tests are commonly given in the UAE for alleged assaults and in other cases. Alcohol is sold widely across Dubai, but public intoxication can bring charges.
The AP does not identity the names of alleged sexual assault victims, but Dalelv went public voluntarily to talk to media.
This sort of treatment of women is really not far off from the Republican Party's war on women here in the US. So while I might find it unacceptable for a politician in this country to accept donations from the United Arab Emirates...it does not surprise me that when it happens, it's a Republican.
New Jersey's Republican Governor Chris Christie accepted the $4.5M donation from United Arab Emirates for Sandy relief to upgrade computer technology for schools in areas hardest hit by the storm at a public event held at the Highlands Elementary School, one of the recipients of the funding.
"Mary Pat Christie, who called the contribution “a tremendous, tremendous gift,” said the donation brings the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund to $38 million from more than 29,000 donors around the world."
What kind of message does this send to the young girls and women in New Jersey?