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Dutch Woman Convicted, Fined After Being Raped in Qatar

  • VOA News

FILE- A woman walks along the waterfront against a backdrop of Doha, Qatar, May 14, 2010. A Dutch woman, imprisoned in Qatar for nearly three months for telling police she’d been raped, reportedly received a one-year suspended prison sentence.

FILE- A woman walks along the waterfront against a backdrop of Doha, Qatar, May 14, 2010. A Dutch woman, imprisoned in Qatar for nearly three months for telling police she’d been raped, reportedly received a one-year suspended prison sentence.

A Qatari court on Monday handed down a one-year suspended sentence for adultery to a Dutch woman that was drugged and raped in an upscale Doha night club.

The 22-year-old woman, identified only as Laura, was on vacation at the time of the March 14 incident. When she reported it to Qatari police, she was arrested and had been jailed since then.

In addition to the one-year suspended sentence, the court fined Laura $800. As soon as she pays the fine, she will be deported from the country.

The Dutch ambassador to Qatar Yvette Burghgraef-van Eechoud, who was present in court, told reporters the embassy would help Laura leave Qatar.

"We will do everything to get her out of the country as soon as possible to where she wants to go," Eechoud said.

The woman’s attacker, identified as Omar Abdullah al-Hasan, was convicted of having sex outside of marriage, which is illegal in Qatar. He was given a sentence of 100 lashes for adultery and another 40 lashes for drinking alcohol. While alcohol is available at high-end hotels in Qatar, it is illegal for residents of the country to drink it without their employers' permission.

Laura is expected to return to the Netherlands within the next few days.

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