Dutch woman allegedly raped and arrested in Qatar
A Qatar court has convicted a Dutch woman, who had been allegedly raped, of having sex outside of marriage. The court fined her $824 and also gave a suspended sentence; the alleged rape victim would also be deported soon. The incident was brought to light after her family had gone public seeking justice; she had informed the police that she was raped in Mar'16.
Qatar Penal Code
Qatar Penal Code's Article-281 states: "Whoever copulates with a female over 16 without compulsion, duress or ruse shall be punished with imprisonment for a term up to seven years. The same penalty shall also be imposed on the female for her consent."
Zina, the Islamic law
Zina–Islamic law, concerns unlawful sexual activities/relations among Muslims who aren't married to one another; it also includes premarital and extramarital sexual activities. At least 45 people were sentenced under Zina during 2009-11. In 2013, a Norwegian rape victim was sentenced to 16-months imprisonment in UAE for having extramarital sex, perjury, and consuming alcohol; she was later pardoned and allowed to leave for Norway.
22-year-old Dutch woman allegedly raped
A Dutch woman was on a holiday in Qatar and had gone out to a hotel with a friend for drinks. She was away from her table for a while and returned shortly after only to realize that something was added to her drink. On 16 Mar'16, feeling unwell, she found herself in an unfamiliar flat and later realized that she was raped.
Qatari Police arrest rape victim
The victim had allegedly gone to the police to inform that she was raped on 15 Mar'16. The Qatari Police had detained her immediately after she reported the incident; the police had also arrested the alleged assaulter. A spokeswoman for the Dutch Foreign Ministry stated that Laura (as the Ministry named the rape victim) had only been arrested and not charged yet.
Expected to leave Qatar within days
Yvette Burghgraef-van Eechoud, the Netherlands' ambassador to Qatar, said that the Dutch woman is expected to leave Qatar soon and added, "We will do everything to get her out of the country as soon as possible to where she wants to go."
Assaulter sentenced to receive 'lashes'
The Qatar court has sentenced the victim's alleged assaulter to 100 lashes for having sex outside of marriage. Reportedly, he would further be sentenced to receive 40 additional lashes for having consumed alcohol. However, the assaulter has claimed that the sex was consensual. Brian Lokollo, the victim's lawyer, argued that her drink was spiked at a hotel in Doha and was later raped.
Consensual or not?
The court stated that the woman would be deported once she pays the fine. Najeeb Al-Nuaimi, Former Qatari Justice Minister, said that for the assaulter to be charged with rape, the victim's lawyer should prove that voluntary actions weren't involved. He added that even if the man and woman were seen walking together, authorities could raise doubts if the sex was consensual or not.