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Date & time Jun 20
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Dutch woman raped in Qatar jailed 3 months and fined for adultery

The nightclub was hopping when Laura stepped away from her drink to dance. The 22 year old Dutch tourist had come to Qatar on vacation with a friend. Now she was partying at one of the few places to drink alcohol in the country: the Crystal Lounge at the W Doha Hotel.

As she danced between a mirrored floor and swirling disco balls, however, Laura suddenly began to feel sick and blacked out, according to her attorney.

"Laura realizes from that moment that she was drugged and raped," Brian Lokollo, her attorney, told the Telegraaf. "She suspects that someone in an unguarded moment threw something into her drink."

When Laura went to Qatari police to file a report, the man she accused of raping her was quickly arrested.

But so was she for reporting her own alleged rape.

Laura spent the past three months in a Doha jail cell on a charge of adultery, according to The Associated Press. In Qatar, it is illegal to have sex out of wedlock.

On Monday, Laura was convicted by a Qatari court. She received a one year suspended prison sentence and will likely be deported back to the Netherlands later this week, Yvette Van Eechoud, the Dutch Ambassador to Qatar, told al Jazeera after the hearing.

The man she accused has also been convicted, but not of rape. He has been sentenced to 140 lashings for adultery and public drunkenness, according to al Jazeera.

The Washington Post generally does not identify victims of sexual assault. In this case, however, Laura's mother and attorney used her first name and photo and launched a social media campaign also using her first name all in an attempt to pressure Qatari officials to release the young woman. The Post is not publishing her photo for privacy reasons.

Laura was released Monday into "the care of the Dutch Embassy,replica van cleef necklace clover," according to the AP.

"Glad that Laura can soon come home," Bert Koenders, the Dutch Foreign Minister, said in a tweet after the decision. "Relieved."

Laura's mother was also happy to have her daughter coming home.

"I'm shaking in my legs. I can't believe it," she told Dutch news program EenVandaag, according to al Jazeera. "She has been sentenced. I don't know for what but I don't care. This is the best I could have wished for."

Lokollo noted, however, that Laura had been fined roughly $845 for reporting her own alleged rape.

The young woman's imminent deportation follows a sudden flurry of attention on the case after nearly three months of secrecy and silence.

But it will likely bring little comfort to the accuser, who is at least the third woman in recent years to be arrested in the region after reporting an alleged rape.

The case also adds to ongoing concerns over Qatar's suitability to host the 2022 World Cup.

Laura was arrested in mid March after telling police that she had been drugged and raped.

Her case remained out of the headlines until last week, however, when her mother shared Laura's first name, photo and story with Dutch media.

"It's a nightmare," Marian, also identified by only her first name, told the Telegraaf.

Marian said the trip to Qatar was her daughter's first independent holiday. Laura travelled to the oil rich country with a friend.

Laura was drinking and dancing at the Crystal Lounge when she suddenly felt sick. From then on, she only remembers "snatches," according to Lokollo, her Dutch attorney.

Laura vaguely remembers a man grabbing her by the arm and taking her to a taxi, he said.

"Later she sees a man on top of her," Lokollo told the Telegraaf.

Upon regaining consciousness and realizing what happened, Laura contacted police, only to find herself arrested.

"Laura was accused immediately,replica van cleef necklace pink," Lokollo said. "A prosecutor shouted at her constantly: 'Why did you [sleep] with him!"

"Laura was terrified,replica van cleef lucky alhambra necklace, intimidated, embarrassed terribly and finally signed an Arabic statement she could not read," the attorney added.

The man Laura accused was also arrested, but on adultery and public drunkenness charges, not rape. He has been identified by al Jazeera as Omar Abdullah al Hasan,replica alhambra pendant necklace, a Syrian citizen.

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