A case against a British woman charged with having extra-marital sex after reporting she had been raped in Dubai has been dropped.
Prosecutors in the UAE said they had stopped the case after studying mobile phone footage of the alleged rape.
The 25-year-old woman has been told she can return home, as have the two men involved.
A statement from prosecutors said: "The office of Dubai Public Prosecutor has closed the case involving the alleged rape of British national ZJM following careful examination of all evidence."
They concluded "the act happened with the consent of the three parties in question".
"A video obtained from the mobile phone of one of the suspects detailing the act was a key evidence that supported this conclusion," they said.
One has to wonder what Gulf State Muslims consider as consent from a woman. If she walked willingly into their hotel room, that might be enough for some Sharia-influenced prosecutors to decide that she was consenting.
It's a little disturbing that they were going to prosecute her for extra-marital sex after being gang-raped, but after deciding it wasn't rape - they drop all charges! It implies that extra-marital sex is fine as long as it's consensual but if it's rape, it's the woman's fault! Does that make any sense to anybody?
The alleged rape was reported in late October by the British national at Al Barsha police station. She said she had been raped by two British men while on holiday in the country.
Radha Stirling, founder of UK-based charity Detained in Dubai, said in a statement: "We are extremely pleased to hear reports that [the] charges have been dropped [...]
"We expect that the spotlight on the UAE justice system has led to a review of the charges and their subsequent withdrawal.
"We hope that the UAE takes this as yet another example of why they need to implement a policy that protects victims of crime against retaliatory charges or counter criminal accusations."
The organisation had previously warned tourists against reporting incidents of rape in the UAE, in part because of "racist" preconceptions held against Western tourists in the country.
Earlier in November Ms Stirling told The Independent the authorities in the UAE "assume women are 'looking for it'".
In the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's travel advice for the UAE it says all sexual relations outside marriage are considered illegal, whatever a couple’s relationship at home, alongside homosexual sex and same-sex marriages.
“It’s against the law to live together, or to share the same hotel room, with someone of the opposite sex to whom you aren’t married or closely related,” it advises.
The laws, which can also mean unmarried pregnant women and their partners are jailed, have been used to criminalize rape victims including women from Norway and Australia, and numerous British victims.
The burden of proof required for rape under the UAE’s interpretation of sharia law – a confession from the rapist or witness statements from four adult men – means that cases that reach court are heavily skewed in the defendant’s favour and are frequently dismissed or turned around to prosecute the alleged victim.
Campaigners say female migrant workers are hit particularly hard by the laws, with their stories rarely attracting the public attention garnered by cases involving Westerners.
Sure! It must be open-season on female migrant workers. Who is going to stand up for them? Certainly not those who are raping them.
The difference between Islam and Christianity
John 8:1-11New Living Translation (NLT)
A Woman Caught in Adultery
Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
“No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
It is believed that Jesus was writing the sins of the woman's accusers in the dirt on the ground. They hoped He would say something they could use against Him or perhaps pick up a stone and begin to stone her Himself. But Jesus turned the guilt of sin back onto the accusers, and fearing exposure, they all slipped quickly and quietly away.
There is no 'Jesus' in Islam! While He makes up a large part of the Quran, that part is mostly ignored in favour of Mohammed, in whom there was no mercy, only a lust for power and little girls.
Rachael Pells Saturday 19 November
The Independent Online
A British tourist facing jail after telling police she had been gang raped has spoken out about her “nightmare” ordeal.
The 25-year-old woman was on holiday in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) when she was allegedly attacked by two British men last month.
When she reported the rape at a police station in Dubai, she was arrested and charged with “extra-marital sex”, a crime punishable by jail, flogging and stoning to death in the strictly conservative country.
UK-based campaign group Detained in Dubai said she had been released on bail and was staying with a British family, but has had her passport confiscated and cannot leave the country.
The group is in contact with the woman’s family, who claim the two men took it in turns to rape her while filming the attack at a hotel in the city.
With news of her arrest making international headlines, the woman sent a message through her father thanking people for their support.
According to The Mirror, she said: “I want to say a huge thank you to everybody for supporting me. Without the loving, kind and supportive words I couldn’t get through the long days.
"It’s petrifying out here alone but I have to stay strong. There are many hurdles to cross and many emotional, fearful times ahead.”
An online appeal launched by the victim’s family has so far raised close to £25,000 for legal fees needed to pay for her defence.
Her alleged attackers were arrested and bailed, but have since left the country, it has been reported.
The woman in question had travelled to Dubai on holiday and had planned to go on to Australia.
In another message to supporters on Facbeook, she said: "I’m trying to stay positive and focused."
Responding to the level of support received, she added: “This helps me a lot because it makes me realise that you are all so loving and supportive and I feel like I'm talking directly to each and every one of you.
"I’m so overwhelmed by the amount of progress going into helping support me financially and lovingly.
"There are some very special people out there that have surprised me beyond belief and have brought tears to my eyes with such appreciation.
“My mum also left to go back home this week. It was so hard saying goodbye and as I hugged her I said 'I'm so sad because I don't know when I'll be able to hold onto you again'.
"We both cried but I told mum to be strong for the both of us.”
She finished the message by saying: “I have so much love and appreciation of those who touch my heart everyday as they continue to talk to me, support me and make me feel loved.
"Thank you to everyone who has donated ... my promise to you is to thank each and every individual at some point when this nightmare is over.
“I miss my family so much. They send me pictures and there's nothing better than that to make me smile.”
A spokesperson for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office told The Independent it was aware of the case and providing support to the woman and her relatives, as well as remaining in contact with local authorities.
Detained in Dubai issued a warning to British tourists and expats this week, urging them not to report incidents of rape in the UAE because of the “racist” preconceptions held against Western tourists.
Radha Stirling, founder of the charity, told The Independent: “We get people contacting us asking whether they should report a crime and – whether it be a rape or anything else – I often say no. Absolutely not.
“It’s about the laws for one, but it also comes down to the application of the law… the police are wary of false accusations, so when a report does come in they think, ‘Oh, maybe the girl was just drunk and then she regretted it the next day’.
There is the social perception that if a woman drinks alcohol, she has consented to it. And there’s also a racist mentality of thinking, ‘She’s British so she was probably drunk and asking for it’.”
Ms Stirling added that she personally would not report a rape in the UAE, saying: “There’s so much manipulation when it comes to criminal accusations over there – I wouldn’t report a rape there if I were raped myself.”
After posting an online appeal for help, the woman's mother wrote: “Please help my daughter. She was raped while on holiday. She reported this to the police and now she is being held on the grounds of sexual activity outside marriage.
"We are not a rich family and cannot afford to pay for the defense she so desperately needs. I am going out of my mind with worry.”
A Foreign Commonwealth Office spokeswoman said: “We are supporting a British woman in relation to this case and will remain in contact with her family.”
Travel advice for the UAE states that all sexual relations outside marriage are considered illegal, whatever a couple’s relationship at home, alongside homosexual sex and same-sex marriages.
“It’s against the law to live together, or to share the same hotel room, with someone of the opposite sex to whom you aren’t married or closely related,” the FCO advises.
There have been several cases in recent years involving women from Western countries including Norway, Australia and the UK hae been detained after reporting incidents of rape.
Police in Dubai are said to be investigating mobile phone footage of the attack, as the case continues.