Dubai: A 16-year-old girl cried when she confronted her father and mother in court for pressuring her emotionally to sell her body for Dh16,000 in order to become rich and overcome poverty.
“My father sold my virginity because he wanted me to help our family not to stay poor anymore. He and my mother forced me to work in prostitution… I was coerced to yield because my father got angry when I first refused to sell my body,” said the tearful Pakistani teenager when she testified against her parents before the Dubai Court of First Instance.
The 16 year old stood face-to-face and testified about how her 38-year-old father, K.A., and her 35-year-old mother, S.K., exploited her sexually and coerced her [emotionally] to have sex with strangers.
With the parents looking down, the girl told presiding Judge Ezzat Abdul Lat: “We are poor and my father coerced me to come with him to Dubai… he told me that if I work in prostitution, we would become rich quickly. He first asked my mother to convince me, but I totally rejected. He became angry and spoke to me rudely. I was forced to accept because I was under severe emotional pressure especially when dad told me that we needed the money.”
Prosecutors accused the Pakistani parents [K.A. and S.K.] of human trafficking by exploiting their parenthood and coercing their daughter into the sex industry. The mother was also accused of prostitution.
Two Pakistani men, 40-year-old A.H. and 19-year-old M.S., were charged with running a flat in Al Mankhoul Area as a brothel. They were also said to have benefited financially from a number of prostitutes who worked for them in the flat.
A.H. and M.S. were also charged with developing a website on which they uploaded nude and indecent photos of sex workers to promote prostitution.
Prosecutors further accused a Pakistani businessman, M.Y., of having consensual sex with the teenager without knowing that she had been coerced to work in prostitution.
The five defendants — the parents and the three men — denied all the charges.
A.H. contended in courtroom seven that he worked as an accountant. “I did not run a brothel. A Pakistani man hired me from Faysalabad for Dh2,000 salary. I had nothing to do with the women, who worked as prostitutes in the flat,” he said.
“Who was the first customer who had sex with you? And did he know that you had not yet become a woman?” presiding judge Abdul Lat asked the teenager.
Pointing to M.Y., the girl replied: “It was that man. My parents and A.H. took me to M.Y. in a hotel room. He asked me to undress, but I was nervous and cried and begged him not to do that to me. Then he threatened me saying that he would take back the Dh16,000 that he had paid my father if I refused to surrender myself to him. I cried and begged him not to take the money… I removed part of my clothes. When he insisted, I asked him to allow me to call my father. When I spoke to my father, he told me not to sadden M.Y. Yes he knew that I had not yet become a woman and he told me that he paid Dh16,000 for that particular purpose.”
The teenager testified before the court that she was also made to sleep with another man.
Prosecution records said a police informant posed as a potential client and the parents were arrested in a sting operation. The remaining suspects were also taken into custody.
“A.H. and M.S. used a mobile phone to take photos of me and the other women naked or half dressed to put the photos on the internet and lure clients,” the girl told the bench of three judges.
Presiding judge Abdul Lat said the court will hear prosecution witnesses when it reconvenes on April 21.