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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Male Rape Victim Faces Homosexuality Charges In Dubai

From Dubai, the most "progressive" Muslim state:
DUBAI: Alexandre Robert, a French 15-year-old, was having a dream summer in this tourist paradise on the Gulf. It was Bastille Day, and he and a classmate had escaped the July heat at the beach for an air-conditioned arcade.

Just after sunset, Alex was rushing to meet his father for dinner when he bumped into an acquaintance, a 17-year-old native-born student at the American school, who said he and his cousin could drop Alex off.

There were, in fact, three Emirati men in the car, including a pair of former convicts, aged 35 and 18. They drove Alex past his house and into a dark patch of desert, between a row of new villas and a power plant, took away his cellphone, threatened him with a knife and a club and told him they would kill his family members if he ever reported them.

Then, Alex says, they stripped off his pants and one by one sodomized him in the back seat of the car. They dumped Alex on the side of the road across from one of Dubai's luxury hotel towers.

Alex and his family were about to learn that despite Dubai's status as the Arab world's paragon of modernity and wealth, its legal system remains a perilous gantlet when it comes to homosexuality and legal protection of foreigners.

The authorities not only discouraged Alex from pressing charges, he says; they have left open the possibility of charging Alex with criminal homosexual activity, and neglected to inform him or his parents that one of his attackers had tested HIV positive while in prison four years earlier.

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