American freedom, Dubai, first amendment, first amendment rights, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, human rights, Marte Deborah Dalelv, Norway, politics, rape, rape victim, Sharia Law, United Arab Emirates
Goodness forbid, if you were ever raped, what should you immediately do? Report it to authorities.
Unfortunately, the majority of rape victims do not report it.
Norwegian, Marte Deborah Dalelv was one of the few rape victims who courageously did. After she reported the crime to the police, all of her personal identification was taken from her, she was thrown in jail and sentenced to 16 months in prison.
What the what?!
This is because Dalelv was in Dubai on business when the crime occurred and she reported it to Dubai police.
Despite putting on a good front as a flashy, modern city, Dubai is apart of the United Arab Emirates, which is governed under Sharia Law. Dalelv was arrested after reporting the rape because under Sharia Law, having sex outside marriage is illegal, even in the case of rape.
According to The Washington Post, “She managed to reach her stepfather in Norway after being loaned a phone card by another woman in custody. ‘My stepdad, he answered the phone, so I said, that I had been raped, I am in prison … please call the embassy,’ she recounted. ‘And then I went back and I … just had a breakdown,” she continued. ‘It was very emotional, to call my dad and tell him what happened.’ Norwegian diplomats later secured her release and she has been allowed to remain at the Norwegian Fisherman’s Center in central Dubai.” She now awaits her appeal in September.
I know, I too am suddenly all the more grateful to be an American on American soil.
As you can imagine, this has human rights organizations and advocates around the word enraged. “The sentence has been condemned by Norway’s Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide who is quoted as saying that it ‘flies in the face of our notion of justice’ and was ‘highly problematic from a human rights perspective,” according to the BBC.
Sadly, yet not surprisingly, this is not the first case of human rights injustice in Dubai.
Below is just one of the MANY stories I found.
Additionally, if you live in Dubai, speaking against the government or Sharia Law can land you in trouble too.
It’s been a while since I’ve thought about my freedom as an American citizen. Specifically, my freedom of speech. Here, we can publicly disagree and even publicly insult U.S. law or government officials. We all saw this during the last election both on and off-line. Name-calling on both sides, opinions and insults were hurled daily. While people shouldn’t on a moral level, people do and they don’t think twice about it.
I can’t imagine living in a country where blatant injustice at a human rights level is not only tolerated, but promoted.
I’m thankful that I can write this post without fear for my or my family’s safety.
I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free.
*VERY pleased to report that Marte has been pardoned by authorities in Dubai!