Sunday 15 September 2019

Laura, arrested in Qatar for reporting her rape, is back in the Netherlands

Photo: LinkedIn

Photo: LinkedIn

The young Dutch woman sentenced to a suspended jail term after reporting she had been raped in Qatar returned to the Netherlands on Thursday.

A KLM stewardess told a radio show the woman, named only as Laura, had arrived at Schiphol airport accompanied by a friend in the early morning. The stewardess said Laura left the plane under escort and did not look well. ‘It was sad to see,’ she said.

On Monday Laura, 22, was found guilty of having sex outside marriage and public drunkenness and given a suspended one-year jail sentence by a court in Qatar. She had been in custody since March 14, when she went to the authorities to file a complaint of rape.

The man Laura accused of raping her, named as Omar Abdullah Al-Hassan, a Syrian national, was also found guilty of sexual activity outside marriage and drinking alcohol. The court sentenced him to 140 lashes. He was not charged with rape.

Laura’s case went public last weekend after her family and lawyer briefed the media about her arrest. They accused the Dutch embassy in Qatar of not doing enough to help her.

A spokesman for the foreign ministry told broadcaster Nos on Thursday that they would not comment further on the case. ‘We would have rather kept this quiet,’ he said. ‘Laura now needs rest and privacy to come to terms with what has happened.’

Laura had told her family she was going to France but actually went to Qatar in secret with a friend, named as Lisa. Lisa  admitted to the Dutch media on Monday she was a prostitute after she was identified on sex sites.

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