Despite reporting that she was raped while working in Qatar, a female World Cup official faces a sentence of 100 lashes and seven years in prison for ‘extramarital sex.’

After reporting she was raped while working in Qatar, a female World Cup official faces a sentence of 100 lashes and seven years in prison for ‘extramarital sex.’

Paola Schietekat, a 28-year-old Mexican woman who worked for the World Cup organizing committee, claimed she was raped by a colleague who broke into her room and threatened to murder her.

She informed Qatari authorities about the attack on June 6, 2021, and they accused her of having an affair and charged her with ‘extramarital sex,’ which is forbidden in the Gulf state.

Lawyers advised Schietekat that one way to escape conviction was to marry her assailant, but she instead chose to flee the country, leaving behind her “dream.”

The allegations against Schietekat, a behavioural economist, have not been dropped, and she will be punished in her absence on March 6.

Schietekat explained on Julio Astillero that her claimed assailant was able to obtain entrance to her Doha flat because it is usual for homeowners to leave their doors unattended and rely on the building’s security.

The man allegedly wrestled her to the ground and raped her, inflicting bruises on her arms, shoulders, and back.

Schietekat said she photographed the incident and recorded what happened on her phone before fleeing her home and spent the night at a motel, fearful that her attacker would return.

She acquired a medical certificate the next morning and, with the help of a representative from the Mexican consulate in Doha, reported the alleged rape to Qatari police using her poor Arabic.

Police inquired if she wanted a restraining order against the assailant or if she wanted to file criminal charges against him.

Schietekat said officers she wanted to press charges and signed an Arabic statement to that effect, giving officers the man’s name and other information.

However, she was contacted hours later, at 9 p.m., and instructed to report to the station, where she was placed in front of the man she had accused and questioned in Arabic for three hours.

Officers requested that the accused attacker and Schietekat’s relationship be investigated after the alleged attacker told police he and Schietekat were dating.

Police then demanded that she take a virginity test, accusing Schietekat of having extramarital affairs, before referring the case to the public prosecutor’s office for charges to be filed.

According to Schietekat, her assailant was acquitted of assault charges because “there were no cameras looking directly at the apartment door, thus there was no way to verify that the assault happened.”

Lawyers informed her that marrying her accused assailant would be one of the only chances to escape a conviction.

Schietekat instead elected to depart the nation, leaving behind what she later described as her “dream job,” and was assisted by the World Cup committee in fleeing Doha.

‘I had never felt more relieved than when my passport was returned to me.’

She has subsequently alleged that Qatar, which will host the FIFA World Cup for the first time in November 2022, is more concerned with protecting the attacker than with safeguarding the rape victim.

As she described why she opted to go public with the claim, she also revealed she was previously raped when she was 17 but did not speak out about the trauma at the time.

The 28-year-old accused the international community of being “cynical” for continuing to support Gulf regimes accused of “flagrant human rights violations.”

‘Without a strong international stance, severe, backward, and even ludicrous regulations will find a small loophole to justify themselves in the shadow of important sporting or cultural events,’ she says.

She also chastised Mexico’s foreign ministry for failing to protect the country’s 600 citizens in Qatar, particularly against gender-based violence.

Since posting her tale, Schietekat has met with Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, who has promised to give her with legal assistance, guaranteeing that “all of her rights as a Mexican citizen are maintained.”

As the World Cup approaches, Qatar has been engulfed in controversies, with estimates of tens of thousands of migrant laborers dying in the country since it was awarded the tournament in 2010.

Categorized as Sport

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