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Dubai sentence, unacceptable violation of human rights

The victim of the assault, a Norwegian citizen, was not protected by local institutions that on the contrary caused her imprisonment with a decision determined by religious conservativism

A worrying sign for Westerners that live in countries where the legislation is affected by the intervention of religious confessions has come from the injustice suffered by a Norwegian citizen, who after she has been a victim of violence in Dubai during a business trip (from Quatar where she worked) and having reported this to the local police, found herself sentenced to sixteen months in detention, due to the fact that Islamic laws of the United Arab Emirates do not protect the victims of violence, considering only men as witnesses.

The victim of this worrying story remains in a Norwegian center in Dubai, avoiding her so at least the detention (after the release agreed by the local authorities with the Oslo diplomacy) but what had happened is seriously disturbing for Westerners who work in similar contexts and describes what is the grave and unacceptable situation of women’s rights in many countries. Instead of being protected as a victim of violence, the Norwegian citizen has been accused of adultery.

There is a clear violation of the human rights by the local courts, conditioned by a reactionary interpretation of the Islamic religion. The incident has rightly drawn the attention of organizations of based in the UK and in other European states: people coming from the United Arab Emirates reveal (also following the case which is discussed) the intolerable situation of women in many Arab countries. The Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Espen Barth Eide, underlined the extraneousness of this sentence to the principles of protection of human rights.

Aldo Ciummo