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Abu Dhabi Jails 14-Year-Old For "Consensual Sex"

Illustration for article titled Abu Dhabi Jails 14-Year-Old For Consensual Sex

A fourteen-year-old Brazilian girl living in Abu Dhabi has been sentenced to six months prison and deportation after a judge ruled that she could not have been raped by a 28-year-old year-old — because she let him into her apartment.

According to The National, "The girl initially said [the 28-year-old school bus driver] raped her, but the driver said he was invited inside by the girl, who then seduced him." The prosecutors' reasoning that convinced the judge: they pointed to text messages setting up the meeting, and "found that it would have been difficult for the driver to get into the flat without her consent." Obviously, when a teenage girl opens the door to a man twice her age, all bets are off.

Including say, statutory rape, aside from whether the girl consented to sex or not. The man, who is Pakistani, has been convicted of "consensual sex," which means he'll get a one-year prison sentence and also be deported.


In June, fellow Emirates kingdom Dubai convicted an 18-year-old woman of the same charge of "consensual sex" after she accused six men, including a police officer, of gang-raping and beating her. The court pointed to the fact that she had gotten into the police officer's car. (She also agreed to have sex with him — and just him — for about $2700.)

At the time, Human Rights Watch's Middle East North Africa researcher Nadya Khalife said,

"Consensual sex is criminalized," Khalife said. "This makes it very difficult for women to prove that they were in fact raped because the attention is deflected from rape and assault and the concentration now lies on an act that was committed outside of marriage."


As for statutory rape, The National says that since the victim was tried under Sharia law, women are considered adults — who can consent — as soon as they reach puberty. The girl's lawyer countered that Sharia also requires consenting adults to be "mentally mature," which would have allowed her to be "handed" to her parents, but the argument clearly didn't fly. Little surprise that the fourteen-year-old victim tried to deny the incident ever took place.

Girl, 14, Jailed For Sex With School Bus Driver [The National]
Accused Girl, 14, Denies Incident With Bus Driver Ever Took Place [The National]
Related: DUBAI: Alleged Victim Of Gang Rape Sentenced To One Year In Prison [LAT]


Image via Maya13/Shutterstock

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I have a question. How permanent a resident do you have to be to fall under the jurisdiction of Sharia law? Like, if I was a tourist visiting for 2 weeks, I assume I couldn't be arrested for having sex with my boyfriend. But what if I had a student visa? At what point would they jail me and not just deport me?