Marte Deborah Dalelv, the 24-year-old woman convicted of perjury, having unlawful sex outside of marriage, and illegal consumption of alcohol after she reported being raped by a coworker, has received a pardon from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates.
According to Dalelv, she had been out drinking with coworkers on March 6, the night of the incident, and returned to her hotel at 3 a.m with a male coworker. As she found the hotel confusing and did not want to wander alone, she asked him to escort her to her room. He instead took her to a different room, where he forced her inside, and she blacked out. When she awoke in the morning she was nude and being raped. Hotel personnel knocked on the door as a wake-up call, at which point she got dressed, and called the police from the reception desk. The police responded with a group of all male officers, who took her to Bur Dubai police station, where during questioning they insinuated that she might be claiming rape because she did not enjoy sex. She was given a medical examination, including a test for alcohol consumption. She also had her belongings and passport taken from her, and was held in jail for four days before being charged.
On the third day she was able to contact her parents and tell them to call the Norwegian embassy. On the day she was charged for extramarital sex and alcohol consumption, a Norwegian diplomat contacted the authorities, and she was allowed out on bail, although her passport was not returned. Since that time she has been staying at the Norwegian Seaman’s Center in Dubai, and her employment has been terminated by Al Mana Interiors, the company she was working for at the time of the incident. Dalelv claims that at one point her former manager told her that if she recanted, the charges against her would be dismissed. Al Mana Interiors disputes this by saying that when he said this, the manager was translating for a police officer. At any rate, she did recant, and this resulted in the perjury charge.
Since Dalelv’s conviction last Tuesday there have been talks between the Norwegian and UAE foreign ministers, and that, in addition to international pressure has resulted in the pardon and the return of her passport. The man she accused of rape was also charged with extramarital sex and unlawful alcohol consumption. He received a 13 month sentence, in contrast to Dalelv’s 16 month sentence. He has also received a pardon.
Written By: Milton Ruiz