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Rape victim convicted of illicit sex

A 22-year-old Dutch woman detained for three months in Qatar on suspicion of adultery after she reported being drugged and raped was given a one-year suspended sentence on Monday and will be allowed to return home, the Dutch Foreign Ministry said.

The woman, identified only as Laura and described as being from the Dutch city of Utrecht, was held and prosecuted on charges of adultery and alcohol consumption.

She has been fined about 750 euros, or nearly $850, and will be sent back to the Netherlands, said Daphne Kerremans, a spokeswoman for the Dutch Foreign Ministry.

“The ambassador is with her now and is making sure that she can go home as soon as possible,” Ms. Kerremans said.

“It was quite overwhelming for her.”

Doha News, an Internet news site in Qatar, reported that the ambassador to the Netherlands, Yvette Burghgraef van Eechoud, said outside the courtroom that the woman would be released from prison in coming days.

News reports said that the man Laura accused of sexually assaulting her had also been detained and that he had told the Qatari authorities that the sex was consensual.

The man, a Syrian citizen identified by Doha News in court papers as Omar Abdullah al-Hassan, was sentenced to 140 lashes for illegal sex acts and public drunkenness.

The woman’s lawyer, Brian Lokollo, told the Dutch news media that she had gone in March to a hotel in Doha where alcohol is permitted.

She felt unwell soon after taking the first sip of a drink and realized that something was wrong, he said. The next morning, she awoke in an unfamiliar apartment and realized that she had been raped.

After reporting the attack to the authorities in Qatar, Mr. Lokollo said, she was detained, according to The Associated Press.

The case captured global attention over the weekend after the woman’s family spoke in the Dutch news media about her arrest, and reports of the accusations and imprisonment she faced drew a campaign on social media calling for her release. (The New York Times)

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