Dubai Pardons Norwegian Woman Imprisoned After Reporting Rape

The 24-year-old had been sentenced to 16 months in prison after she told police she was raped. She is now free to leave Dubai.

Marte Deborah Dalelv was sentenced to 16 months in prison in Dubai after reporting that she was raped. Kamran Jebreili / AP

Dubai officials have dropped the case against Marte Deborah Dalelv, a 24-year-old Norwegian interior designer, who was sentenced to 16 months in prison after she reported that she was raped.

“I am very, very happy,” Dalelv told The Associated Press on Sunday. “I am overjoyed.”

Dalev, who works in Qatar, said she was sexually assaulted by a co-worker while on a buisness trip to Dubai. She was then charged with having sex outside marriage, drinking alcohol, and perjury. Her case sparked outrage from international rights’ groups and activists.

In Norway, Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide posted a Twitter message: “Marte is released! Thanks to everyone who signed up to help.”

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Lisa Tozzi is the News Director for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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