Friday, April 01, 2011

More on the law

I was going to post about this earlier in the week but decided to wait for more information and for the muddy waters to clear. It's still all very murky but we know a bit more now.

Sadly it's another in a long line of victim jailed cases such as I posted about a few days ago.

Back in Australia there was a hearing in Brisbane Supreme Court on Friday of last week when lawyers acting for a young Queensland woman, Alicia Gali, were given leave to sue Fujeirah's Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort for breaching its workplace obligations and failing to have systems in place to protect their workers against assault.

That opened a can of worms.

On Monday it was in the news, with headlines like:

Drugged, raped, then jailed for 'adultery' 
Queensland woman tells of her jail hell in United Arab Emirates

The details are murky but it goes back to 2008, when Alicia reported to police that she had been raped by three co-workers at the hotel after they spiked her drink in the hotel staff bar.

It seems the three men were not charged with rape but they and Alicia were found guilty of illicit sex, and presumably consuming alcohol.

Alicia got a year in Al Slammer and served eight months before being pardoned.

She claimed she had no assistance from her employer or the embassy, which the hotel immediately denied. They issued a statement that they had helped 'including assisting with medical support, arranging for financial support, assistance with the investigation, liaising with her representative embassy and arranging for her family to come to the UAE from Australia'.  

The following day her lawyers refuted those claims.

I told you it was all very murky. It'll get worse as the case progresses too with the international spotlight firmly on the laws here and the way they're administered. Let's hope it brings about some changes.

BTW, if you read the stories I've linked to below you'll see they contain warnings against travelling to the UAE. The only news outlet here I've seen the story in is Arabian Business, who simultaneously reported a UK survey in which Dubai came fifth in a survey which asked travellers which destinations they felt most at risk in.

That's strange about a country that's one of the world's safest, but it's not safety in relation to muggings or violence against them they're concerned about. It has to be the regular reports of people being jailed for consuing alcohol, for verbal insults, for giving the finger and of victims being jailed that cause the concern.

Here's the first story and also
Hotel defends itself.
Not true say lawyers.

Dubai not safe survey.


Rupert Neil Bumfrey said...

In today's print edition of The National it was on page two, but rather pathetically headlined:
"Former employee to sue RAK hotel", byline of Martin Croucher.

Not verifiable in online version or through Google news search!

Anonymous said...

I hate these horror stories.

They remove all doubt from my mind that something needs to happen and I should be making something happen.

But i'm not. I'm an armchair hypocrite.

Horrible stuff.

Mike said...

It's really absurd that the victim was punished instead of the rapists.Equally the blame lies with the management of Le Meridien Al Aqah.What actions have been taken against them by Starwood.It likes to pride itself on ethics.About time they make their words count.Tourists should boycott this particular hotel.

Tina said...

It seems best to keep the religious and cultural angle out of this and treat this case from a purely legal point of view.What’s really clear is that an innocent employee had been victimized and the management of Le Meridien Al Aqah had actively worked against their own employee to cover their own backs.This is thoroughly unethical .

John R said...

On the subject of law.... what is the truth behind the poor British fellow who died in the local lockup.. as far as the police are concerned he consumed hashish and choked on his own vomit... very convenant... gosh!! Who was this guy Jimmy Hedrich, Bon Scott even...Mmmm! Me thinkus a few pork pies are flying... But in this country pigs aren't allowed.. even to fly.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog, and reading up on Dubai, where i have a 1.5 hour stop over in the middle of the night and my stomach is in a knot of fear. I feel ill at the though that i might not make it through this. I'm now going to be leaving all my vitamin supplements behind ( one of them is melatonin - it would have been in my bag, and I would have not seen my family for 4 years or maybe ever again.) I have others, I've searched for banned substances (melatonin is not on the lists I've found) I now don't know if I'm going to get done for something I have no idea about, something that is totally legal everywhere else. If you can be jailed for being raped (I'm a woman and I'm flying alone!!) or eating a bagel, I'm so stupid for booking my flight through Emirates. An in 2 weeks I'll have to run this gauntlet again on my way home... I hope I make it through.

Seabee said...

Anon, don't worry. Nearly 50 million people come through DXB every year without any problem. It's the world's fourth busiest airport.

I carry melatonin and various vitamins every time I travel.