Friday, November 2, 2007

Something sooo Dubai

I stumbled into the blog of Here, There and Everywhere thru the post Rape in Dubai.

After what happened in a school here a few weeks ago, I am more vigilant of such issues. But what I read in what happened in Dubai is something sooo sick. It really made me cry with anger. And to think that Dubai is supposed to be modern, westernized country? Please read on:

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Oct. 31 — Alexandre Robert, a French 15-year-old, was having a fine summer in this tourist paradise on the Persian 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 says he 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 at home.
There were, in fact, three Emirati men in the car, including a pair of former convicts ages 35 and 18, according to Alex. He says they drove him 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 if he ever reported them.
Then they stripped off his pants and one by one sodomized him in the back seat of the car. They dumped Alex 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, and its well-earned reputation for protecting foreign investors, its criminal legal system remains a perilous gantlet when it comes to homosexuality and protection of foreigners.
The authorities not only discouraged Alex from pressing charges, he, his family and French diplomats say; they raised the possibility of charging him with criminal homosexual activity, and neglected for weeks to inform him or his parents that one of his attackers had tested H.I.V. positive while in prison four years earlier.
“They tried to smother this story,” Alex said by phone from Switzerland, where he fled a month into his 10th-grade school year, fearing a jail term in Dubai if charged with homosexual activity. “Dubai, they say we build the highest towers, they have the best hotels. But all the news, they hide it. They don’t want the world to know that Dubai still lives in the Middle Ages.”
Alex and his parents say they chose to go public with his case in the hope that it would press the authorities to prosecute the men.
Read more at New York Times.
If you've read the whole story, you would discover more curiously horrible things. That Alex would have to be jailed because of homosexual activity. What kind of a justice system is that? He was raped by three men, for God's sake. And then the issue about one of the perpetrators having HIV being reported a month after the event happened. I mean, they could have done something to prevent the virus widely spreading if they revealed that thing within 24 hours. Now the family's left to wonder. I know the feeling of waiting for the result because of this. And it is something I dont want to wish to anyone. I pray that Alex would be spared.
Alex’s case has raised diplomatic tensions between the Emirates and France, which has lodged official complaints about the apparent cover-up of one assailant’s H.I.V. status and other irregularities. The tension and growing publicity over the case seem to have prompted the authorities to take action.
Most infuriating to Alex and his mother, VĂ©ronique Robert, is that police inaccurately informed French diplomats on Aug. 15, a month after the assault, that the three attackers were disease-free, the diplomats say. Only at the end of August did the family learn that that the 36-year-old assailant was H.I.V. positive. The case file contains a positive H.I.V. test for the convict dated March 26, 2003.
“They lied to us,” Ms. Robert said. “Now the Damocles sword of AIDS hangs over Alex.”
So far the teenager has not tested positive for H.I.V., but he will not know for sure until January, when he gets another blood test six months after the exposure.
And not only that, Alex was even thrown these words:
A doctor examined Alex the night of the rape, taking swabs of DNA for traces of the rapists’ sperm. He did not take blood tests or examine Alex with a speculum. Then he cleared the room and told Alex: “I know you’re a homosexual. You can admit it to me. I can tell.”
Alex told his father in tears: “I’ve just been raped by three men, and he’s saying I’m a homosexual,” according to interviews with both of them.
I admire the strenght of Alex and his family. His mother even started a website for rape victims in Dubai who generally keep quiet,
“Sometimes you feel crazy, you know?” he said. “It’s hard, but we have to be strong. I’m doing this for all the other poor kids who got raped and couldn’t do anything about it.
You know what Alex, you are not crazy. It is the people who do such sick things and the people who tolerate such sick things to happen that are crazy. You did great with the decision to talk about it. It would help not only you but the other silent victims. Be strong! You would overcome this... Our prayers are for you and the other victims, may justice prevail.


Mixednuts said...

this is soo bad. alex's life will never be the same. i pray for strength for him.

MrsPartyGirl said...

ahh so eto pala ang iyong english-speaking blog, hehe. :)

di ko na uulitin yung sinabi ko sa kabila, pero suffice it to say, inis pa rin ako. grrr.

TeacherJulie said...

My, you're right, this is so sick. I pity Alex for having gone through this just as he is supposed to be enjoying his life as a teener.

How could they do this and twist the truth?

I'm off to the NYTimes link and I just hope I can remember my uid and pw combination :)

arlene said...

such a sad story. One thing i observed with these modern countries is that they think they are modern but actually in cases like this they are still in middle ages -- not just dubai but other countries as well. I pity this boy, he has been thru such an ordeal. I hope the truth prevails. Let's keep him in our prayers.

raqgold said...

mayi, they need those prayers.

julie, how did you get thru the experience of reading it at NYT? the whole story is really something, i am glad that the family have the strenght to fight back and they have a lot of support, too

arlene, thanks. i am keeping myself updated with this story.