Qatari Court Convicts Dutch Tourist Who Reported She Was Raped

Alissa Lopez | June 13, 2016
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A Dutch woman who reported to Qatari police in March that she was raped will now have to pay a fine before being deported from the country. 

CNN reported that the woman, known as Laura, was at a Doha hotel having drinks with a friend. After leaving her table (including her drinks) unattended, she said when she returned her drink suddenly made her feel "very unwell." 
She reportedly woke up in an unfamiliar location and realized "to her great horror" that she had been raped after her drink was spiked, Lokollo said.
When she reported the rape to the police, she herself was imprisoned.

Brian Lokollo, the lawyer that was hired by the woman's family, told the court of Laura's experience. Yet it was still decided that she pay a fine of 3,000 Qatari ($824), be given a one-year suspended prison sentence and placed on probation for three years. Once the fine is paid, she will be deported from Qatar. 

Qatar's Penal Code 2004 (Law No. 11) states that, "anyone who copulates with a female above sixteen without compulsion, duress, or ruse is convicted to no more than seven years in prison. The same penalty is also imposed on the female for her consent."

BBC reported that Najeeb al-Nuaimi, a Doha-based lawyer and Qatar's former justice minister, informed Al-Jazeera's Qatar-based broadcaster that Lokollo would have to prove that there had been "no voluntary actions" between Laura and her alleged attacker for him to be charged with rape. 
"Fornication outside of marriage" is a crime in Qatar as well as other countries in the conservative Muslim Gulf, regardless of the marital status of those involved.

Laura's alleged attacker, which the Daily Mail reported to be a Syrian man by the name of Omar Abdullah al-Hasan, was sentenced to a total of 140 lashes followed by deportation. He was found guilty of illicit fornication and illegal consumption of alcohol. As a Muslim, al-Hasan is not allowed to drink at all under Qatar's laws. 

The Daily Mail also reported that al-Hasan "insisted that their night together had been consensual and that the woman had even asked for money." 

Neither Laura or her attacker appeared in court.