Qatar awards suspended prison term to Dutch rape complainant

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DUBA: A Dutch woman held in Qatar for nearly three months after telling police she had been raped there was released on Monday after receiving a one-year suspended prison sentence, a Dutch diplomat said.

The 22-year-old woman was in the care of the Dutch Embassy after a brief court hearing in Doha, the Qatari capital which will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Her case has raised new questions ahead of the tournament, which likely will draw tens of thousands of Western tourists unfamiliar with the Islamic-based legal codes that govern the small peninsular nation.

It wasn’t clear what sentence was given to the man she accused of rape. Qatari officials repeatedly have dec­lined to comment after her detention be­came public knowledge over the weekend.

The woman, on a vacation with a friend, went out for drinks at a hotel bar in the Qatari capital in mid-March, lawyer Brian Lokollo previously said. While at the bar, she believes someone “messed with her drink” and her memory became hazy, Lokollo said. She later awoke alone, her clothes torn and the victim of a rape, he said. She was immediately detained after reporting the attack, Lokollo said. She previously appeared three times in court, he said.

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