In Brief

Qatari court convicts Dutch woman after alleged rape

Tourist given suspended prison sentence and fined after telling police she had been attacked in a Doha hotel

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A court in Qatar has convicted a Dutch woman of having sex outside marriage after she told police she had been raped.

The 22-year-old from Utrecht was given a one-year prison sentence, suspended for three years, and fined 3,000 riyal (£600).

A lawyer for the woman, who had been holidaying in the country, said her drink had been spiked during a night out at a Doha hotel in March. She woke up in an unfamiliar apartment and realised she had been sexually assaulted.

However, after reporting the assault to police, she was detained on charges of committing illicit sex acts and held for three months.

Her alleged attacker, identified by Al Jazeera as Omar Abdullah al-Hasan, claimed the sex was consensual.

He was also convicted of having sex outside of marriage and sentenced to 100 lashes, plus 40 for consuming alcohol. He will reportedly be deported to his home country of Syria.

A Qatari court official told Al Jazeera the woman's sentence was "lenient".

"Had she been a Muslim woman, she would have received at least five years in jail," he said. "No one can get out of such charges here in Qatar."

The case has only came to light this week after the woman's family decided to go public.

Her mother told Dutch news programme EenVandaag that her daughter was going through a "nightmare" ordeal.

On learning that she would be deported, the mother said: "I'm shaking in my legs. I can't believe it. She has been sentenced. I don't know for what but I don't care. This is the best I could have wished for."

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