Dubai ruler pardons woman jailed after reporting rape

Norwegian interior designer Marte Deborah Dalelv, 24, who reported being raped, speaks during an interview with Reuters at the Norwegian Seamen's Center in Dubai, July 21, 2013. REUTERS/Jumana El
Norwegian interior designer Marte Deborah Dalelv, 24, who reported being raped, speaks during an interview with Reuters at the Norwegian Seamen’s Center in Dubai on Sunday. Credit: Reuters

The United Arab Emirates has pardoned a Norwegian woman who was sentenced to jail for illicit sex after she reported being raped by a colleague while on a visit to Dubai, the Norwegian foreign minister said on Monday.

Marte Deborah Dalelv, 24, had been awaiting an appeal hearing of her 16-month sentence handed down this month after a court in the Gulf Arab emirate found her guilty of having sex outside marriage, drinking and making false statements.

“I warmly welcome that Marte Dalelv was pardoned by the ruler of Dubai today. The fight for human rights for all continues,” Norway’s foreign minister, Espen Barth Eide, said on his Twitter account.

Eide had told reporters that Oslo believed the verdict was “completely unacceptable” and said it was contrary to human rights and the basic sense of justice.

Dalelv herself spoke of her relief and delight at the decision. “I am very very happy. … I don’t know when I will get to go home, but I’ll leave as soon as possible,” she told Norwegian state broadcaster NRK. “I am free, finally.”

News of the sentence had dominated the front pages in Norway and raised questions about the judicial system in the Gulf state, which attracts large numbers of expatriates and tourists with a Western lifestyle but has little-publicized conservative laws covering sex and alcohol.

Authorities from Dubai’s public prosecutor’s office had no immediate comment.

Dalelv, who has been staying at a Norwegian Christian center in Dubai pending the appeal, said a male colleague pulled her into his hotel room and raped her after she asked him to help her find her own room after they had had a few drinks.

Dalelv said she had chosen to speak about her case in public to warn others of the risks involved in rape cases in the Gulf state.

In the United Arab Emirates, as in some other countries using Islamic law, a rape conviction can require either a confession or the testimony of four adult male witnesses.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Tattooed, bearded suspect sought in Williamsburg bike theft:…

The suspected thief faces grand larceny charges after investigators said he entered the building on North 5th Street in Williamsburg.

Local

Report: Rich New Yorkers don't move from NYC…

An Independent Budget Office analysis found that the wealthiest residents don't move out of the city any more or less than other New Yorkers.

National

Pioneers for domestic violence push on

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. Two decades have passed since the O.J. Simpson trial captivated the country. But in the 20 years…

Local

Food truck with a mission hires at-risk New…

A group branding itself as food trucks for social justice specifically hires and trains young men and women with troubled pasts.

Entertainment

'Bachelorette' recap: Episode 10, 'Men Tell All'

Why does the #MenTellAll episode exist? Because they don’t, and it shouldn’t. Is it a lazy vehicle to sell more ad space? Is it to…

Television

Olivia Williams explains the ins and outs of…

Olivia Williams plays a botanist beginning to suspect her physicist husband's work on the Manhattan Project might be ominous in WGN America's "Manhattan."

Movies

Scarlett Johansson on 'Lucy':' 'I guess I’m the…

Scarlett Johansson continues her foray into action movies with thriller “Lucy”, admitting it’s been an unexpected adventure.

Movies

Review: Liking Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'…

Woody Allen's latest, "Magic in the Moonlight," concerns a magician (Colin Firth) trying to debunk an alleged psychic (Emma Stone).

NFL

5 players to watch at Giants training camp

Metro takes a look at five players who will be on everyone’s mind when Giants training camp gets underway.

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

MLB

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according…

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according to report

NFL

Giants lineman Chris Snee to retire: Reports

The Giants report to training camp on Tuesday, but Chris Snee may not be there when they do.

Parenting

Buy gently worn back-to-school clothes with Kidizen

Kidizen allows parents to buy and sell gently worn back-to-school clothes.

Wellbeing

Ruling could be beginning of the end for…

This morning, a federal appeals court threw out an IRS regulation that implements subsidies for low-income Americans who bought insurance through Obamacare. These Affordable Care…

Tech

RocketSkates let users roll with a motor

Los Angeles company Acton has raised funds on Kickstarter to roll out a nifty alternative – motor-powered "RocketSkates."

Tech

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony becomes a tech entrepreneur

He's been an All-Star, an Olympian, and a celebrity spokesperson. Now NBA player Carmelo Anthony is adding the position "tech entrepreneur" to his resume. Along…