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Dubai rape victim Marte Deborah Dalelv finally set free

OHMYGOSSIP — Marte Dalelv’s business trip to Dubai turned into a nightmare when she was jailed and convicted of having extramarital sex after reporting a rape. On Monday (July 22), Dubai authorities pardoned and released her, in the glare of intense international criticism.

Government authorities in Dubai, faced with a tourism boycott for jailing and convicting a young Norwegian woman who’d reported a rape, chose to pardon and release her on Monday. Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide had said over the weekend that the sensational case had reached “the highest political levels” and that he was optimistic the Norwegian government’s complaint had been heard.

Rape victim Marte Deborah Dalelv of Tønsberg had told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that she remained nervous and frightened after being called in for a hearing on Monday with Dubai prosecutors. She was accompanied by her defense attorney, staff from the Norwegian Seamans Church in Dubai where she’d been staying pending her appeal of her conviction, and Norway’s ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Åse Bjerke, when she arrived for the meeting Monday meeting.

“We really don’t know what this means,” Dalelv told NRK. “I’m afraid I’ll be put in jail again.” Dalelv was charged and convicted, under Dubai’s Sharia law, with drinking alcohol illegally and having extramarital sex after she reported the rape to local police. She also was charged with perjury after prosecutors dismissed her rape claim. The man accused of assaulting her was not convicted of rape, but was sentenced to jail for also having sex outside of marriage.

Norwegian news bureau (NTB) also reported that Dalelv was given back her passport from the local authorities who had seized it after she’d reported being raped on a business trip to Dubai in March. Bjerke, Norway’s ambassador, told NTB that Dalelv should soon be free to leave the country.


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