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Woman jailed in Dubai after reporting rape hopes to warn others

in UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, 31/07/2013

A Norwegian interior designer jailed in Dubai for illicit sex after she reported being raped says she has no regrets about coming forward if her warning will protect others from a similar fate.

A court on July 17 sentenced Marte Deborah Dalelv to 16 months in prison for having sex outside marriage, drinking and making false statements. She says a male colleague pulled her into his hotel room and raped her after she asked him to help her find her own room when they had had a few drinks.

The 24-year-old has been released on condition she remain at a Norwegian Christian centre in Dubai pending the outcome of an appeal. Asked if she regretted reporting the assault, Dalelv said no: "The truth is the only thing that will help me get through this."

The news has dominated the front pages in Norway and raised questions about the judicial system in the Gulf state, which lures large numbers of expatriates and tourists with a Western lifestyle but has little-publicised conservative laws on its books covering sex and alcohol.

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