A British woman arrested in Dubai for having extra-marital sex after claiming she’d been raped by two British men has been told she is free to leave the country. The 25-year-old woman, who cannot be named, reported the alleged rape to police last month, but then found herself under arrest on suspicion of violating the United Arab Emirates’s strict laws on sex outside marriage.
She is said to have been lured into a hotel room by two British men, who are alleged to have both raped her while filming the attack. The woman’s family claimed the men flew home to Britain just hours later. The woman had her passport confiscated and it’s believed faces legal fees of £25,000, though this has yet to be confirmed.
Dubai prosecutors revealed on Tuesday they were not proceeding with charges against the two men and the woman was told she was free to return to Britain. The decision came after prosecutors reviewed mobile phone footage only to find there was insufficient evidence. They had little choice but to release her.
A statement released by the Dubai authorities 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.
“The Office has decided not to proceed with legal proceedings. A video obtained from the mobile phone of one of the suspects detailing the act was a key evidence that supported this conclusion.”
Despite the media reports, the woman’s family said Tuesday that they had not been told that the charges were dropped and that she still had not received her passport.
Radha Stirling, founder and director of Detained in Dubai, said the UAE had a long history of penalising rape victims. The case highlights the need to be extra vigilant faced with the law in different countries.