UAE court hands death sentence to Indian convicted of raping young girl

DUBAI (AFP) - A court in the United Arab Emirates on Monday sentenced to death a 57-year-old Indian man convicted of raping a seven-year-old girl at an Abu Dhabi school, the victim's family lawyer told AFP.

A lower court in Abu Dhabi court found the Indian man guilty of raping the girl at a school cafeteria where he was employed and of "threatening to kill" her if she reported the attack, lawyer Hussein al-Jaziri said.

The ruling, which must still be confirmed by the courts of appeals and cassation, will "give hope to the victim and her family that justice has been achieved," said the lawyer.

He urged parents of children who are victims of rape, a taboo among conservative Emirati families, to report such crimes.

Executions are rare in the UAE, where death sentences are typically commuted to life in prison.

In February 2011, an Emirati man convicted of raping and murdering a Pakistani child in a Dubai mosque was executed - the first in 10 years.

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