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Dubai pardons alleged rape victim convicted of 'extramarital sex'

Marte Deborah Dalelv, a Norwegian national sentenced to 16 months in prison in Dubai, was handed back her passport and told she was free to leave the country.
Dubai marinaEnlarge
The Cayan tower (C), the world's tallest twisted tower stands at Dubai's Marina on June 11, 2013 in the United Arab Emirates, UAE. (KARIM SAHIBSAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)

A Norwegian woman who was convicted of having extramarital sex after she reported being raped in Dubai has been pardoned.

Marte Deborah Dalelv, 42, told the Associated Press that she was given back her passport on Sunday by the public prosecutor's office and told she was free to leave the country.

The news came days after she was sentenced to 16 months in prison for having sex outside marriage. She was allowed to remain free while she prepared to appeal the conviction, but had her passport and money confiscated.

Norway's government had criticised her treatment as a violation of human rights. Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide welcomed her release:

Dalelv is expected to return to Norway this week, a Norwegian official told the BBC.

An interior designer, she claimed she was raped by a co-worker during a business trip in March — but after going to police was herself charged with a sex offense.

She said her alleged attacker received a 13-month sentence for extramarital sex and alcohol consumption.

On Friday, Dalelv said in an interview with CBS that she wanted to draw attention to the risks of outsiders misunderstanding Dubai, a cosmopolitan city that nonetheless has "Islamic-influenced" legal codes.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/rape-dubai-norwegian-women-marte-deborah-dalelv-sex

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