Qatar detains Dutch woman for adultery after she reports rape

THE HAGUE • A 22-year-old Dutchwoman is being held in Qatar on suspicion of adultery after she said she was raped while on holiday there.

The woman said she was drugged in a hotel, and that she realised she had been raped when she woke up in an unfamiliar apartment.

"She was arrested in March on suspicion of adultery", which is outlawed in Qatar, said her lawyer Brian Lokollo. "She has nightmares, and is anxious and traumatised," he said.

Ms Daphne Kerremans, a Dutch foreign ministry spokesman, confirmed the arrest. But she said the woman, whose first name is Laura, had not been charged.

She added that "the inquiry is ongoing" and that the Dutch authorities are in regular contact with Laura.

Mr Lokollo said the case concerns a trip that his client made in March to a Qatar hotel where the consumption of alcohol is allowed.

"She went dancing but, when she returned to the table after the first sip of her drink, she realised someone had added something to her glass," Mr Lokollo said. He added that "she felt very unwell" after.

He said she remembered nothing more until the following morning, when she woke up in a totally unfamiliar apartment and "realised, to her great horror, that she had been raped".

He said she managed to escape the flat and seek help before going to a police station, where she wanted to file a complaint against her attacker, but the police detained her instead.

"It is totally inhuman," Laura's mother, Marian, told Dutch television NOS as she held up a photo of Laura with long curly black hair. The young woman had gone on holiday for the first time without her mother.

The suspected rapist was also arrested, but insisted that their night together had been consensual and that the woman had even asked for money.

A court hearing is set to take place today, and the Dutch foreign ministry hopes a decision will be made as to whether to charge the woman.

In the neighbouring United Arab Emirates, a 24-year-old Norwegian woman who brought a rape complaint against her boss was jailed for 16 months in 2013 for so-called indecent behaviour, perjury and alcohol consumption. She was later pardoned by the authorities.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 13, 2016, with the headline 'Qatar detains Dutch woman for adultery after she reports rape'. Print Edition | Subscribe