"I have to spread the word. ... After my sentence we thought, 'How can it get worse?"' Dalelv told The Associated Press in an interview at a Norwegian aid compound in Dubai where she is preparing her appeal scheduled for early September.But she wasn't home she was in the United Arab Emirates which has a Sharia-based legal system. Dalelv was given a medical examination seeking evidence of the alleged rape and underwent a blood test for alcohol. Such tests are commonly given in the UAE for alleged assaults and in other cases. Alcohol is sold widely across Dubai, but public intoxication can bring charges.
Dalelv, who worked for an interior design firm in Qatar since 2011, claims she was sexually assaulted by a co-worker in March while she was attending a business meeting in Dubai.
She said she fled to the hotel lobby and asked for the police to be called. The hotel staff asked if she was sure she wanted to involve the police, Dalelv said.
"Of course I want to call the police," she said. "That is the natural reaction where I am from."
She was detained for four days after being accused of having sex outside marriage, which is outlawed in the UAE and managed to reach her stepfather in Norway after being loaned a phone card by another woman in custody.
"My stepdad, he answered the phone, so I said, that I had been raped, I am in prison ... please call the embassy," she recounted.
"And then I went back and I ... just had a breakdown," she continued. "It was very emotional, to call my dad and tell him what happened."
'I have to spread the word ... After my sentence we thought, 'How can it get worse?' said Marte Deborah Dalelv, who received a 16-month jail sentence after she reported being raped. Her alleged attacker received 13 months, Dalelv said.What a horror, first being assaulted then being arrested for being a victim. My heart goes out to her. Sadly that's Shariah justice in action.
Dubai authorities did not respond to calls for comment, but the case has brought strong criticism from Norwegian officials and activists.
"This verdict flies in the face of our notion of justice," Norway's foreign minister, Espen Barth Eide, told the NTB news agency, calling it "highly problematic from a human rights perspective."
UPDATE: Great news announced this morning (7/22)- Marte Deborah Dalelv has been pardoned and is free to leave the UAE