Dubai police drop ‘extra-marital sex’ charges against ‘gang raped’ British woman

© Karim Sahib
A British tourist who was charged with having ‘extra-marital sex’ in Dubai after reporting that she had been gang raped no longer faces legal proceedings. The case against her was dropped.

The 25-year-old from Cheshire had been arrested and had her passport confiscated in October after she claimed she had been raped by two British men in a hotel room. The two male suspects were also arrested, questioned and had their passports confiscated, but no charges were filed against them.

The Dubai Public Prosecutor’s office said it had closed the case after “careful examination of all evidence.” In a statement, it said investigations showed “the act happened with the consent of the three parties in question.”

A video on one of the suspects’ mobile phones was found to be “key evidence” that the woman had engaged in consensual sex.

“Dubai’s legal system takes reports of all crimes very seriously, including and especially violence against women, and conducts thorough investigations of all incidents,” said the prosecutor’s office.

Officials said there would be no legal action and all three parties were in the process of receiving their passports and were free to leave the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The woman’s father said he had received “conflicting stories” saying that his daughter had been released, but he said the Foreign Office had not confirmed anything yet.

The campaign group Detained in Dubai said it was pleased with the decision.

“We expect that the international outrage that this case deserved influenced authorities to drop the charges in order to spare the UAE of such negative press.

“Others in the past have not been so fortunate, but we hope that this landmarks a fresh approach to similar cases in the future.”

A spokesman at World Centre Advocates and Legal Consultants, the Dubai law firm acting for the two men accused of rape, said he had not had any confirmation that the charges against the woman had been dropped, implying that his clients may receive their passports back.

He said the allegations against the men were “categorically incorrect and false.”

In Dubai, all sex outside of marriage is illegal. If authorities become aware of a sexual relationship, those involved risk prosecution, imprisonment and/or fine and deportation.