Tourists told 'learn the law' amid Dubai rape row

Tourists told 'learn the law' amid Dubai rape row
Dubai police have reportedly hit back at criticism of UAE's laws after a British woman who reported a rape was charged with having extramarital sex.
2 min read
18 November, 2016
UAE responds after British woman's arrest on extra-marital sex charges caused outrage [Getty]
Police in Dubai have reportedly told tourists to "learn the law in the UAE" after a British woman who reported an alleged rape was charged with extramarital sex.

The row has erupted after a 25-year-old claimed she was the victim of a sex assault carried out by two men, only for police to warn her she could be jailed.

A police source said "expats must learn the law in the UAE before they come to visit" when referring to the extramarital sex charges, according to The Times UK newspaper.

Investigations into the rape, allegedly carried out by two British men while the women was holidaying there last month, are continuing.

The woman fears she could spend up to a year in prison after she was accused under Emirati law of having extramarital sex.

Dubai police have refused to give any further information on the matter which is now being dealt with in the courts.

Rape laws in the UAE can carry the death penalty for offenders. However, sex outside marriage is also a serious crime, and there have been many cases where women who report sexual crimes have been arrested themselves.

In 2013, a Norweigian woman was sentenced to 16 months in prison after she reported being raped by a Dubai waiter. She was pardoned shortly after her sentencing following an international outcry.

A crowdfunding campaign has raised more than half of the British woman's legal fees. She is now on bail and is said to be living with a British family while she awaits legal proceedings.

Two British men, who have been identified in reports as the alleged suspects, have remained in Dubai.

All three Britons have hired lawyers and are said to be receiving embassy support.

A UK Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are supporting a British woman in relation to this case and will remain in contact with her family."