A British woman, who was charged with having extra-marital sex in Dubai after reporting she was raped, has had all charges against her dropped after five days.

The office of the Dubai Public Prosecutor said it had closed the case after “careful examination of all evidence”.

Mid-November this case became the latest in a shocking tale of abuses committed against women with impunity.

The young British lady on holiday in the United Arab Emirates, allegedly attacked by two British men last month and currently arrested and detained on sharia charges of “extra-marital sex”.

  • The 25-year-old woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, detained under charges of “extra-marital sex” in Dubai after telling police she had been gang raped.
  • A look at the anti-women laws around the world.

Dubai police have remained silent as it emerges the victim could be facing a year in the Gulf State prison system and pressure builds to reform rape laws following a spate of similarly dismaying incidents.

The unnamed woman told The Times that following the rape at a hotel, upon reporting the rape at a police station, she was arrested for breaking Emirati laws against extra-marital sex, while her attackers have since flown home to the UK.

A spokesperson for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, “police regularly fail to differentiate between consensual intercourse and violent rape. Victims go to them expecting justice, and end up being prosecuted.  They not only invalidate their victimization, they actually punish them for it.”

According to The Times, a Dubai police source said “expats must learn the law in the UAE before they come to visit” when referring to the extramarital sex charges.

"There is the social perception that if a woman drinks alcohol, she has consented to it."

“There is the social perception that if a woman drinks alcohol, she has consented to it.” Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Sadly, the latest rape and arrest of a women is yet another damning statistic about the safety of women in the modern world.

A series of graphic assaults have shocked the world from India and the Middle East and pressure has been building to bring the perpetrators to justice.

  • The gang rape of a 23-year-old student on a public bus in Delhi in December 2012 sparked large protests across India. The victim died as a result of injuries sustained during the assault and her male friend was severely beaten with an iron rod during the incident.
  • In March of 2015, a 71-year-old nun was allegedly gang-raped in West Bengal by intruders who went on to desecrate the Christian convent.
  • The spotlight on sexual abuse in Dubai received UK media attention following the revelation by Apprentice contestant Selina Waterman-Smith that she was gang raped while holidaying there.

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Women Treated as Second-Class Citizens

  • Women are not legally allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia.
  • It is estimated that 35 per cent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives.
  • In the Bahamas, it is legal for a man to rape his wife, if she is over 14 years of age.
  • The crime of prostitution is only applicable by a woman in the Philippines.
  • At least 200 million women and children have undergone female genital mutilation in over 30 countries.
  • Sons inherit double the amount more than daughters in Tunisia.
  • In Ghana, husbands have the right to control  where their wives work.
  • Every year 5,000 women are murdered by their relatives to protect the “honour” of the family, according to reports.

“Do Not Report Crimes in Dubai”

Radha Stirling, the founder of charity Detained in Dubai, believes Dubai police assume Western women are “looking for it”.

She added: “There is the social perception that if a woman drinks  alcohol, she has consented to it. And there’s also a racist mentality of thinking, ‘She’s British so she was probably drunk and asking for it’.”


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“We get people contacting us asking whether they should report a crime and – whether it be a rape or anything else – I often say no,” she said. “Absolutely not.”


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As the push for justice in this particular case builds, commentators will be looking for a substantial response from both Emirati and British police organisations to provide justice and a semblance of support for the victim of a violent crime.