Dubai: The former company of a Norwegian woman sentenced to a 16-month prison term in Dubai for having sex outside marriage expressed their sympathy for her and offered assistance should she need it.
Marte Deborah Dalelv, 24, was in Dubai in March on a business trip representing Doha-based Al Mana Interiors. The Norwegian interior designer complained to police that a co-worker had sexually assaulted her.
Police charged Dalelv with having sex outside marriage, drinking alcohol, and perjury. She was sentenced to 16 months in prison last Tuesday but she said she is appealing the decision.
“We are sympathetic to Marte Dalelv during this very difficult situation. Al Mana Interiors has repeatedly offered Marte support and company representatives were by her side throughout the initial investigation and police interviews, and spent days at both the police station and the prosecutor’s office to help win her release,” Hani El Korek, spokesperson for Al Mana Interiors, said in a statement on Sunday.
El Korek said company representatives have been supportive and have been in talks with Dalelv throughout her ordeal. El Korek stressed the company terminated her services in April when she stopped communicating with them, not because of the alleged rape allegations.
“Only when Ms Dalelv declined to have positive and constructive discussions about her employment status, and ceased communication with her employer was the company forced to end our relationship with her. The decision had nothing to do with the rape allegation,” El Korek said.
While no one from Dalelv’s side has so far contacted the company to discuss her employment status, El Korek said they are still willing to extend help when needed.
“We continue to be open to helping Ms Dalelv and extending her resources during the Dubai legal process. We are hopeful that we can resume a positive discussion about the assistance she needs during this difficult time.”