September 17, 2019

Alicia Gali sues Australian Government over lack of rape advice

Alicia Gali is taking a stand to highlight the potential dangers of working in a foreign country.

Alicia Gali the Brisbane woman who was jailed after being raped by co-workers while working in Dubai, is seeking to sue the Australian Government over the advice she ‘didn’t’ get from a consular official.

On Tuesday, Alicia Gali, 29, will seek leave to sue the Commonwealth of Australia in the Brisbane Supreme Court, claiming that a consular official failed to warn her that a complaint of rape in Dubai could see her jailed.

Alicia Gali, is already in the process of suing the Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, alleging as her employer it breached its workplace obligations by failing to have systems in place to protect workers against assault.

Alicia spent eight months in a Dubai Prison for adultery after laying a rape complaint against three co-workers in June 2008.

In a statement from Ms Gali’s lawyers, Maurice Blackburn, principal Michelle James said her client had told an Australian consular official she did not know whether to go to hospital after being drugged and raped.

The female consular officer allegedly told Ms Gali that she could face a life sentence if drugs were found in her system.

However, Ms Gali claims the officer neglected to warn her that a complaint of rape could see her charged for adultery.

In the UAE it is illegal to have sex outside of marriage.

Management of the resort which is owned by US company Starwood Hotels claim to have supported Ms Gali following the incident.

In a previous statement, Ms Gali said she wanted to warn other women about the danger of working in countries where laws were “archaic.”

“I still feel angry and upset and it’s distressing because I was a victim in all of this and I was punished – the laws have to change to protect women and give them rights and the Australian government should use its influence to push for changes to laws,” the statement read.

“The UAE is being promoted hugely here as a tourism destination.”

“They are not complying with human rights, women’s rights and migrant workers’ rights.”

Newswarped supports the stand Alicia is taking. This does not appear to be about money, but rather about tackling discriminatory laws and advertising which is big on all the gloss and benefits but does not publicise the potential downside.

Alicia had a right to expect at a large multi-national American compnay would look out for her interests and ensure that she was fully aware of the local laws and customs.

The UAE can make whatever laws they like but an employer in that region should be going out of their way to educate staff on the dangers that those laws may present to a young lady living a western lifestyle in an Islamic country.

Similarly the Australian Government representatives in Dubai should be as thorough and clear as possible in their advice to a young lady that has come to them (as the experts) in a distressed state for help and advice. Any reasonable person would expect that a young lady considering making a rape complaint needs to know that she is likely to be charged in turn with adultery.