Release Woman Imprisoned for Being Raped


Target: United Arab Emirates Supreme Court

Goal: Free a woman who was imprisoned for reporting rape

Recently, Marte Deborah Dalelv, a 24-year-old woman from Tønsberg, Norway was on a business trip in Dubai. One night, she went out for drinks with her coworkers, and a few male coworkers from the area joined them. She woke up later, as she was being raped. She went to the police, who refused to believe her story, and jailed her for ‘extramarital sex’ and consuming alcohol ‘without permission.’ She now faces sixteen months in prison. As the police arrested her, they confiscated her wallet, phone, and passport. She was able to get to a telephone to call her father and tell him about her situation.

According to the United Arab Emirates Union Supreme Court’s website, they “Respect the Value and Dignity of the Individual: Maintain the dignity and entity of individuals and guarantee their freedom, person, value, beliefs, culture and personal record.” Yet we can see that the individual is of no concern when gender is involved. Sharia law does not honor women’s rights, nor the cultural differences when it comes to alcohol consumption.

This young woman has to be released. Sign this petition to urge the UAE Supreme Court to dismiss her case and allow her to come home. She could serve as an example to the lawmakers of countries with Sharia law: women are humans too, and cannot be imprisoned when questioning a man’s actions.


Dear UAE Court Officials,

Recently, Marte Deborah Dalelv, a 24-year-old woman from Norway, was imprisoned at the Burj Dubai station after reporting a rape. She woke up as she was being raped, yet police refused to believe her. Instead, she was charged with extramarital sex and consuming alcohol without permission. Stripped of her personal possessions and her passport, she was thrown into a cell. Thankfully, she was able to contact her father after borrowing a phone, who later called the embassy.

This is unacceptable. Your website states that your justice system attempts to “Respect the Value and Dignity of the Individual: Maintain the dignity and entity of individuals and guarantee their freedom, person, value, beliefs, culture and personal record,” yet that is obviously not the case. Her culture does not allow men to rape, nor does it bar women from consuming alcohol.

I insist you drop all charges against her and release her to Norway. Her imprisonment only serves as a further testament to the discrimination against women within your legal system. Release her and show the world that your legal system is, in fact, in the name of justice rather than the preservation of the image of men.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Peter Lyall via Fotopedia

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One Comment

  1. ekeim teeuwisse says:

    she HAS been released, so this petition can be removed.

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267 Signatures

  • Eric von Borstel
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