Dutch woman arrested in Qatar after making rape claim
Doha, June 11: A Dutch woman is being detained in Qatar on suspicion of adultery after she told police she had been raped.
The 22-year-old, who was on holiday, was drugged in a Doha hotel and woke up in an unfamiliar flat, where she realised she had been raped, her lawyer says.
She was arrested in March on suspicion of having sex outside of marriage. She is due to appear in court on Monday.
The alleged rapist is also being held, but says the sex had been consensual.
A Dutch foreign ministry spokeswoman said the woman, who she named as Laura, had been arrested but not yet been charged.
“We have provided assistance to her since the first day of detention. For the sake of the defendant’s case we will not make further comments at this point,” the Dutch embassy said in a statement.
The woman had gone dancing at a hotel in Doha where alcohol was allowed, “but when she returned to the table after the first sip of her drink… she felt very unwell” and realised she had been drugged, her lawyer Brian Lokollo told Dutch broadcaster NOS-Radio1.
Her next memory was waking up in an unfamiliar apartment where she “realised to her great horror that she had been raped,” Mr Lokollo added.
The woman may also be charged with an alcohol-related offence, news website Doha News reported.
It is an offence to drink alcohol or be drunk in public in Qatar, although alcohol is allowed at certain hotels and expatriates can obtain a permit for purchasing alcohol.
In 2013, a Norwegian woman in neighbouring United Arab Emirates was given a 16-month prison sentence for perjury, extramarital sex and drinking alcohol after she told police she had been raped.
She was later pardoned and allowed to return to Norway.