In 2008 a young Australian woman was drugged and gang-raped by three co-workers whilst working in a luxury Dubai hotel. Upon reporting the rape she was imprisoned for engaging in illicit sex.
Alicia Gali has now spoken of the ordeal she endured four years ago.
The video in which Gali describes the events can be seen on this link. The following is an account of her ordeal as recounted on film.
Gali, then 27, had been hired as a manager of the Starwood Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, Fujairah, spa and beauty salon in Dubai. According to Gali, following a drink in the employees bar she woke up in her hotel room, naked, with broken ribs and massive bruising. Her drink had been spiked, and she had been the victim of a savage rape whilst drugged. Security guards had been sent to her room following reports of screams, where they found Gali unconscious and three naked men, all hotel employees.
Both the hotel and the Australian Embassy failed to offer assistance to Gali. After seeking hospital attention Gali reported the rape to the police, unaware that she herself would be charged with engaging in illicit sex under UAE's sharia law. The law requires four Muslim men to testify that the rape was not consensual sex. The statement Gali provided to police was in Arabic which she did not understand. It was a confession that she had engaged in illicit sex and drunk alcohol, both criminal offences in UAE.
In an Islamic court Gali faced her three rapists. She was sentenced to 11 months in prison for sex outside marriage, and a further month for drinking alcohol. The rapists also received prison sentences of the same duration, not for rape but for engaging in illicit sex.
Gali spent eight months in a UAE prison which she described as a "nightmare." In filthy, unhygenic conditions, she could hear other prisoners being lashed. She was released early in a pardon, on the same day as her three rapists.
News Com Au. reported Gali, on her return to Australia, later filed a lawsuit against Starwood. The damages claim alleged "Ms Gali's employer failed to warn her of the risk of being drugged, raped, charged with adultery and jailed if she complained."
According to the Courier Mail Gali is still suffering from her ordeal in Dubai. She has been diagnosed with "severe complex post traumatic stress disorder" and has racked up expensive medical bills.
By speaking of her ordeal Gali is sending a warning to other westerners to be aware of the harsh Islamic laws in a country which promotes itself as modern looking, but where a rape victim can end up imprisoned for engaging in sex.