Friday, January 08, 2010

Don't get raped in Dubai

Dubai -- the flashy, self-glorifying Gulf emirate -- is home to the world's tallest building, the Burj Dubai, and it's also home to some of the most disgustingly conspicuous consumption in the world, a mecca, of sorts, for the grotesquely super-rich. (Although, yes, I admit, I would like to stay at the Burj Al Arab sometime.)

But, contradictorily enough, it's also home to some pretty serious repression and oppression, most notably of women, and to a legal code that includes elements of Sharia law.

And it's best not to get raped there: 

A 23-year-old British woman on holiday in Dubai told police she had been raped, only to be arrested herself for having illegal sexual intercourse.

The woman, a Muslim of Pakistani descent, was celebrating her engagement to her 44-year-old boyfriend, and was allegedly attacked when she passed out in a hotel lavatory.

Despite approaching police about the attack, she was arrested after admitting to "illegal drinking" outside licensed premises as well as having sexual intercourse outside marriage. Her fiancé was also charged with the same offences.

The couple from London are now reportedly on bail and understood to be awaiting trial after having their passports confiscated. Should they be found guilty, they could face up to six years in jail.

The woman, who is said to have accepted her boyfriend's marriage proposal during a three-day break, admitted drinking too much alcohol as they celebrated at Dubai Marina's Address Hotel. The waiter is then said to have followed her into the toilets and raped her while she was in a state of semi-consciousness.

Lovely, eh? What a wonderful place.

Yes, it's an impressive building -- if pointless, unless the point is penis envy -- and, yes, there seems to be a lot that's impressive there, but Dubai leaves an awful lot to be desired, not least with a justice system that is, simply, unjust.

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