00:57 - Source: CNN
Woman arrested, convicted after reporting rape

Story highlights

The woman woke up in an unfamiliar location and realized she'd been raped

A Syrian man was also found guilty of the same charges as the woman

A Norwegian woman was jailed in 2013 in the UAE in a similar case

Abu Dhabi CNN  — 

A Dutch woman who reported being raped while on holiday in Qatar has been jailed since mid-March and could face charges of adultery, according to her lawyer.

At a court hearing in Doha Monday, the 22-year old, whom CNN has identified only as Laura, was handed a one-year suspended sentence and placed on probation for three years for the sex-related charge, and fined 3,000 Qatari Riyals ($823) for being drunk outside a licensed location.

She’ll almost certainly be deported immediately.

A Syrian man also appeared alongside her and was found guilty of the same crimes. He was sentenced to 100 lashes for the illicit fornication charge and a further 40 lashes for the illegal consumption of alcohol. As a Muslim he is not allowed to drink at all under Qatari law.

No mention was made of the rape accusation during proceedings. Neither defendant was present in court, in what was the third hearing in the case.

According to Brian Lokollo, a lawyer who was hired by the woman’s family, Laura was at a hotel bar having drinks with a friend in the Qatari capital, but then had a drink that made her feel “very unwell.”

Rape: Why is it so hard for countries to combat?

She reportedly woke up in an unfamiliar location and realized “to her great horror” that she had been raped after her drink was spiked, Lokollo said.

When she reported the rape to the police, she herself was imprisoned.

The Dutch government and its embassy in Doha are in close contact with the defendant and her family in the Netherlands, according to a statement from the embassy.

She added that Laura has appealed for her privacy to be respected.

The Qatari authorities could not immediately be reached for comment.

“Adultery,” or “fornication outside of marriage,” is a crime in Qatar as well as other countries in the conservative Muslim Gulf regardless of the marital status of those involved.

Adultery a crime

According to Qatar’s Penal Code 2004 (Law No. 11), “anyone who copulates with a female above sixteen without compulsion, duress or ruse is convicted to no more than seven years in prison. The same penalty is also imposed on the female for her consent.”

In the nearby United Arab Emirates in 2013, a Norwegian woman who reported being raped by a colleague was sentenced to 16 months in jail, charged for having unlawful sex, making a false statement and the illegal consumption of alcohol.

Marte Deborah Dalelv was later pardoned by Dubai’s ruler.

Journalist Riham Shebl contributed to this report.