Dutch Woman Arrested and Deported From Qatar for ‘Sex Outside Marriage’ After Reporting Her Rape

By
Doha, Qatar
Doha, QatarPhoto: Matteo Colombo

On Saturday, news broke of a 22-year-old Dutch woman who was arrested in March while vacationing in Qatar after she reported being drugged at the W Doha Hotel and raped at a stranger’s apartment. Her lawyer, Brian Lokollo, said her arrest was “on suspicion of adultery, which means having sex outside marriage.” Her accused rapist was also arrested and claimed they had consensual sex.

On Monday, she appeared in court for the fourth time since she was detained. According to Al Jazeera, she was indeed convicted of having sex out of wedlock and handed down a one-year suspended sentence that involves her being deported to the Netherlands immediately. The man she accused of raping her, Omar Abdullah al-Hasan, is reportedly Syrian; he will also be deported, after receiving 140 lashes.

Although it’s horrifying that she was punished in a court of law for reporting a rape, one court official’s statement highlights how such treatment is even worse for women who aren’t Western: “Had she been a Muslim woman, she would have received at least five years in jail. No one can get out of such charges here in Qatar.”