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  • 14

    European Boy Raped by Emirati Nationals
    Report; Posted on: 2007-11-10 05:56:53 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]

    A Dubai court has been hearing evidence against three Emirati nationals accused of raping a French-Swiss boy.

    The boy, 15, testified in private against his alleged attackers, aged 36, 18 and one who is a minor.

    The boy's relatives say the three, one of whom is HIV positive, took him into the desert and raped him at knifepoint.

    His mother accuses the authorities of lying about the 36-year-old's HIV infection to hide the fact that Aids is present in the United Arab Emirates.

    The defendants - who deny the charges - have not been identified in the case, in line with UAE law.

    Veronique Robert, the mother, has been campaigning for more protection for underage rape victims in the Emirates.

    Dubai officials have defended their handling of the case but have not commented on the mother's accusations.

    'Official silence'

    Ms Robert said her son cried during his 90-minute testimony on Wednesday, but remained "very strong".

    "He looked the defendants in the eyes and gave a chance for justice to be served," she told Associated Press news agency.

    He told police three men abducted him and a friend, 16, from a shopping centre in the booming Gulf emirate which is a regional tourism and business hub.

    The men allegedly took turns raping him in the back seat of their car. The 16-year-old, who was told to sit behind a sand dune, also testified on Wednesday.

    Ms Robert has said during a forensic examination the police doctor accused her son of being homosexual, implying the incident was consensual.

    She also says official silence about the 36-year-old's positive HIV test meant her son missed out on possible treatment.

    "Aids is a taboo subject here... The government played with the life of my child," she said.

    The boy left Dubai fearing he would be prosecuted for homosexuality, a crime in the Emirates, but returned when the authorities said he would not be charged.

    The two adult defendants could face life imprisonment or the death penalty if convicted. The third defendant could face 10 years imprisonment if convicted by a juvenile court.

    The trial was adjourned until Sunday.


    News Source: bbc.co.uk

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