Dubai: Alleged rape involving British nationals was consensual

Dubai is one of seven emirates that comprise the United Arab Emirates, or UAE.

Story highlights

  • The case involves an alleged rape victim who was charged with having extramarital sex
  • "The UAE has a long history of penalizing rape victims," a legal advice group says

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (CNN)A rape investigation involving a British national allegedly assaulted in Dubai has been closed after a prosecutor concluded the sex was consensual.

But officials did not explicitly say what happens to the charge against the woman, who was arrested and accused of extramarital sex, despite her accusations of rape.
    The Dubai Media Office did say Tuesday that the woman and the two men accused -- also British nationals -- "are in the process of receiving their passports and are free to leave the UAE."
    "A thorough review of statements given by the British woman and the two suspects as well as the reports of investigating officers from Dubai police showed that the act happened with the consent of the three parties in question," the Dubai Media Office said, citing the public prosecutor's office.
    "A video obtained from the mobile phone of one of the suspects detailing the act was a key evidence that supported this conclusion."

    The allegations

    According to Detained in Dubai, a UK-based legal advice group, the woman was gang-raped by British nationals.
    "The victim reported the rape to police and was promptly arrested herself on charges of having extramarital intercourse," the group said.
    If convicted of consensual extramarital sex, a defendant can face anywhere from a month to three years behind bars, followed by deportation, said attorney Faisal Alzarooni, who represents clients who have been charged with both rape and consensual sex in Dubai.
    Dubai is one of seven emirates that comprise the United Arab Emirates, or UAE.
    "The UAE has a long history of penalizing rape victims," said Radha Stirling, founder and director of Detained in Dubai. "It is still not safe for victims to report these crimes to the police without the risk of suffering a double punishment."
      But the statement from Dubai officials said authorities take rape allegations seriously.
      "Dubai's legal system takes reports of all crimes very seriously, including and especially violence against women, and conducts thorough investigations of all incidents," it said.