A 22-year-old Dutch woman was convicted of “fornication” and deported for having sex out of wedlock after she was reportedly drugged and raped in a Qatari nightclub by a Syrian national.
A Qatari official described the sentence to Al Jazeera as “lenient,” noting “had she been a Muslim woman, she would have received at least five years in jail. No one can get out of such charges here in Qatar.”
The Dutch woman was on vacation when she woke up March 15 in an unfamiliar apartment and realized she had been raped. She reported the incident to Qatari authorities and was promptly arrested and held in custody to await trial for her alleged crimes.
Her rapist was reportedly Syrian national, Omar Abdullah al-Hasan, who was also convicted of having sex out of marriage. Hasan denied drugging the woman and described the encounter as consensual. Hasan’s punishment will be 140 whip lashes, a common punishment in the ultra-religious gulf Arab state.
Qatar has recently come under scrutiny for allegedly bribing FIFA officials to host the 2022 World Cup. Swiss authorities opened a criminal investigation May 27 into allegations of Qatari bribery. In a recent Department of Justice investigation of alleged FIFA corruption, hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation also came to light.
Financial disclosures from the Qatari committee responsible for lobbying to FIFA, show the committee alone donated between 250,000 and 500,000 to the Clinton Foundation. A Clinton Foundation official told the Washington Post the Qatar 2022 committee was a sponsor of a Clinton Global Initiative event.
Financial disclosures reveal the government of Qatar has given a total of between 1 million and 5 million dollars to the Clinton Foundation. The vast sums of money call into question the role of corruption in global philanthropy and whether philanthropic donations may be attempts at buying influence with the former President.
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