A 22-year-old Dutch woman is being held in Qatar on suspicion of adultery after she said she was raped while on holiday there, her lawyer and Dutch media said on Saturday.
The woman says she was drugged in a hotel, and that she realised she had been raped when she woke up in an unfamiliar apartment.
“She was arrested in March on suspicion of adultery, which means having sex outside marriage,” lawyer Brian Lokollo told Dutch radio NOS-Radio1.
A Dutch foreign ministry spokeswoman confirmed the arrest but said the young woman, whom she named as Laura, has not been charged.
Daphne Kerremans added that “the enquiry is ongoing” and that Dutch authorities are in regular contact with Laura.
The woman’s lawyer said that the case concerns a trip his client made in March to a Qatar hotel where the consumption of alcohol is allowed.
“She went dancing but when she returned to the table after the first sip of her drink, she realised that” she had been drugged, Lokollo said. “She felt very unwell,” he added.
The young woman remembers nothing more until the following morning when she woke up in a totally unfamiliar apartment “and realised to her great horror, that she had been raped,” he said.
The suspected rapist was also arrested but insisted that their night together had been consensual and that the woman had even asked for money.
“She completely denies these accusations,” Lokollo said. A court hearing is set to take place on Monday and the foreign ministry hopes a decision on whether to charge the Dutch woman will be taken.
A 24-year-old Norwegian woman who brought a rape complaint against her boss was jailed for 16 months in the neighbouring United Arab Emirates in 2013 for so-called indecent behaviour, perjury and alcohol consumption.
She was later pardoned by the authorities.