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Convicted Norwegian woman can leave Dubai after rape row—minister

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06:32 PM July 22nd, 2013

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July 22nd, 2013 06:32 PM

Marte Deborah Dalelv from Norway, 24, talks to the Associated Press reporter in Dubai on Friday, July 19, 2013, after she was sentenced 16 months in jail for having sex outside of marriage after she reported an alleged rape. AP

OSLO—The Norwegian woman sentenced to jail after reporting being raped by a co-worker in the United Arab Emirates is free to leave the country, Norway’s foreign minister said Monday.

“Marte (Dalelv) is released! Thanks to everyone who signed up to help,” Espen Barth Eide wrote on Twitter.

A spokeswoman for the Norwegian foreign ministry told AFP that Dalelv had been pardoned by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.

“She hasn’t been deported, she has been pardoned. She can remain in Dubai if she wishes. Her passport has been returned to her,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Ragnhild Imerslund said.

“She will travel home shortly,” she added.

Dalelv, 24, risked 16 months in jail after being convicted last week by a Dubai court of extramarital sex, perjury and consuming alcohol without a licence.

She was detained when reporting being raped to police in the United Arab Emirates in March this year.

Dalelv was released four days later with the assistance of Norwegian diplomats and has been staying at the Norwegian Seamen’s Church in Dubai for the past several months.

“I am very nervous and tense. But I hope for the best and I take one day at a time. I just have to get through this,” she told AFP by telephone on Friday.

Originally posted at 05:45 pm | Monday, July 22, 2013

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