Examples of situations confronted
by international tourists

In the following section you can find examples of the types of situations tourists are confronting while traveling abroad.

The names of the countries involved have been delated, as it is not our intention to go against the reputation of the country but to create awareness worldwide on the need to pay a stronger attention to these situations, so to reduce violations of human rights of tourists.

As the cases have been extracted from articles on-line, we have integrated the corresponding reference to their sources.

CASE 1

A XXXX tourist is facing a three-year jail sentence in XXXX after putting his hand out in a bar to stop himself spilling his drink and touching a man’s hip, according to his representatives.

…”He was arrested for public indecency. Harron is said to have since lost his job and has spent more than £30,000 in expenses and legal fees, having already been stuck in the country for three months.

Radha Stirling, the chief executive of Detained in XXXX, said: “It is quite outrageous that he has been held in the country for so long already. This is another example of how vulnerable tourists are to arrest and detention in XXXX and at how drawn out and disorganised legal proceedings are.”

The 27-year-old electrician is said to have been holding a drink, moving through a crowded bar, and held a hand in front of him to avoid spilling it on himself or others. He then “touched a man on his hip to avoid impact”.

The organisation claims it was only after Harron and his friend sat at a table that the man who had been touched seemed upset.

Police arrived at the Rock Bottom bar 20 to 30 minutes later and arrested Harron, according to his representatives. He was later charged with drinking alcohol and public indecency.

Harron is said to have been locked up for five days in Al Barsha prison, before his passport was confiscated and he was released on bail.

“I have spoken to Jamie, who is under immense pressure and stress,” said Stirling. “He was expecting to appear in court on Sunday, but the court moved the date without telling him or his lawyer. This led to a sentence of 30 days’ imprisonment for failing to present himself at the hearing.”

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: “We have been in contact with a British man following his arrest in XXXX in July. We are providing consular assistance.”

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/06/british-tourist-faces-jail-in-dubai-after-brushing-against-man-in-bar

CASE 1

A XXXX tourist is facing a three-year jail sentence in XXXX after putting his hand out in a bar to stop himself spilling his drink and touching a man’s hip, according to his representatives.

CASE 2

XXXX charity warns tourists in XXXX not to report rape after woman who was ‘gang raped’ arrested

Foreign Office also accused of failing to do enough to help women after alleged victim detained on suspicion of having ‘extramarital sex’, an offence under sharia law.

CASE 2

XXXX charity warns tourists in XXXX not to report rape after woman who was ‘gang raped’ arrested

Foreign Office also accused of failing to do enough to help women after alleged victim detained on suspicion of having ‘extramarital sex’, an offence under sharia law 

A XXXX-based charity has warned that XXXX tourists and expats in XXXX should not report incidents of rape after a woman who was allegedly gang raped was arrested and charged with “extramarital sex”. 

Detained in XXXX, an organisation that assists people who have become victims of injustice in the XXX, has warned against reporting rape or other crimes in the country because of the “manipulation when it comes to criminal accusations” and the “racist” preconceptions held against Western tourists.

Radha Stirling, founder of the charity, said that following the recent case – as well as a number of other shocking incidents in recent years where rape victims have been detained in the XXXX – she advises XXXX tourists not to report crime.

Ms Stirling told The Independent: “We get people contacting us asking whether they should report a crime and – whether it be a rape or anything else – I often say no. Absolutely not. 
Shocked that a woman was arrested for reporting rape in XXX? I’m not
“It’s about the laws for one, but it also comes down to the application of the law. Police there do get a lot of rape claims that are false, many of which come from disgruntled prostitutes who retaliate by reporting false criminal claims.
“Because of this the police are wary of false accusations, so when a report does come in they think, ‘Oh, maybe the girl was just drunk and then she regretted it the next day’.
“It’s also linked to the fact that tourism in the XXXX has increased and there is a big clubbing scene. People go there to have a good time and the country promotes this. But they do assume women are ‘looking for it’.
“There is the social perception that if a woman drinks alcohol, she has consented to it. And there’s also a racist mentality of thinking, ‘She’s XXXX so she was probably drunk and asking for it’.”

Ms Stirling added that she personally would not report a rape in the XXXX, saying: “There’s so much manipulation when it comes to criminal accusations over there – I wouldn’t report a rape there if I were raped myself.”
The latest case involves the arrest of a 25-year-old woman who was on holiday in XXXX in October when she was allegedly attacked by two XXXX men, who allegedly befriended her and lured her to their hotel room before pinning her down and raping her while recording it on a phone.

When the woman reported the rape at a police station, she was arrested for breaking the national laws against extramarital sex, while her attackers have since flown home to the XXXX. 

Her passport has reportedly been confiscated and she is prohibited from leaving the country, essentially putting under “country arrest” while she awaits legal proceedings against her.

The prescribed punishments for extramarital sex in XXXX include imprisonment, deportation, floggings and stoning.

A friend and sister of the victim have contacted Detained in XXXX and confirmed that she is still in XXXX facing awaiting the proceedings and is “very afraid of facing the complexities of XXXX justice system”. Her lawyer has reportedly estimated fees to be in the vicinity of £25,000.

A petition set up by the woman’s mother, Sue Barber – who writes that she is “going out of her mind with worry” – has so far raised more than £11,000 to go towards defence lawyers.

Speaking of the case, Ms Stirling warned that it was “likely” the woman would be detained. She said: “It is quite possible she’ll be charged and held. If the assailants have left the country the police have obviously got no counter evidence. They could just factually go on sex outside of marriage if there is no evidence of an assault.”

“In 2008 a woman in XXXX who had broken ribs and evidence of violence from being raped after her drink was spiked was charged with sex outside of marriage and held in the country for eight months, so it’s very possible this woman will be too.”
When the Foreign and Commonwealth Office was asked what advice they give to rape victims in the XXXX, it provided The Independent with the guidance published online.

In its “Support for XXXX nationals abroad” guide, the FCO offers support for victims of rape and sexual assault overseas, stating: “We take any report of rape and sexual assault seriously and will try to see you to offer you support as soon as possible and in private.”

The guide then states that the FCO can tell the victim about “local police and legal procedures” and provide them with “a list of local lawyers and interpreters”, but then states that it is down to the victim to decide whether or not they should report the crime, adding: “Only you can decide whether or not to report the crime to the police or take legal action – we cannot make this decision for you”.

Meanwhile the FCO’s foreign travel advice for the XXXX: “The XXXX is a Muslim country. Laws and customs are very different to those in the XXXX. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times. 
“There may be serious penalties for doing something that might not be illegal in the XXXX.”

Ms Stirling does not believe the XXXX Government does enough to support XXXX nationals in XXXX when it comes to criminal reporting. She told The Independent: “British nationals are constantly disappointed at how little the embassies intervene. They should be advising nationals of the high risks involved in reporting crime in XXXX.  
“The XXXX Government has not issued enough warnings to detail what can, and what has happened to other nationals when they have reported crime. It has the best relationship with XXXX of any other gulf nation and is keen to maintain positive relations for their vested interests, which does not coincide with providing extensive advice or negative perceptions to the public.”

There have been several cases in recent years in which Westerners in XXXX have been detained after reporting incidents of rape.

Alicia Gali, an XXXX national who has spoken publicly about her ordeal, spent eight months in jail after being drugged and violently raped in 2008. With broken bones and evidence of serious assault, authorities continued with her abuse through the legal system.

Meanwhile a XXXX woman was sentenced to 16 months in prison after having reported her rape in 2013, and it was only after the Norwegian diplomats intervened that was she able to leave the XXXX, once the ruler issued her a pardon.

Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/rape-victim-dubai-united-arab-emirates-uae-extra-marital-sex-report-detained-in-dubai-police-charity-a7422326.html

CASE 3

…”A report, called A Shadow on the Sunny Paradise, from the human rights organisation Society for Threatened Peoples (STP), claims that locals are not properly informed about the development of tourist projects that are of little benefit to them.

Three regions on the east coast of XXXX, a hotspot for kite surfing in the west – have recently been developed to the detriment of 1,200 families, the report suggests.

In the examined regions, the hotels and resorts often keep fishermen away from the sea, jeopardizing the economic livelihood of many families,” the report states. “Further, there are cases of land expropriation. Only a small part of the local population is able to live off tourism.” ”

Ref: Case extracted from The Telegraph UK – Travel Destinations

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/

CASE 3

…”A report, called A Shadow on the Sunny Paradise, from the human rights organisation Society for Threatened Peoples (STP), claims that locals are not properly informed about the development of tourist projects that are of little benefit to them.