A British woman who reported being raped has been arrested by Dubai police for violating Islamic law by having sex out of wedlock, and now faces a possible 6 year prison sentence.

Both the alleged rapist and the victim’s boyfriend have been charged with having sex with her outside of marriage as well.

The 23-year-old woman, a UK citizen of Pakistani descent and herself a Muslim, was visiting Dubai together with her 44-year-old fiancée, whom she is said to be due to marry.

The woman reported becoming drunk at a hotel bar, and subsequently being raped by a waiter who followed her into the toilets at the same establishment.

She and her partner resolved to report the attack, but police were apparently more concerned with her drinking and sexual relations with her future husband than the alleged crime, charging both her and her paramour with illegal drinking and having sex outside of marriage.

They each face a possible maximum sentence of six years.

The man accused of raping her, who claims she consented, faces charges as well, but for having sex out of marriage rather than for rape.

Police are said to have insisted on blood tests to prove she was drinking, but refused to medically examine her for evidence until the British embassy became involved.

Her cell-mate is quoted as saying police were less than sympathetic:

“She’s a British girl but a Muslim, so I think they were tougher on her because of that.

She was trying to report the rape but soon realised the policemen were more interested in how often she has sex with her boyfriend.”

Superficially modern Dubai upholds relatively mild standards of Sharia law, usually applied leniently to its many international visitors, though in other respects it possesses the same medieval social attitudes as seen in the rest of the Arab world.