A woman, Paola Schietekat Sedas from Mexico suffered sexual abuse while working in Qatar, in the Organizing Committee of the World Cup that will begin on November 21.
But, instead of punishing the aggressor, the authorities of Qatar imposed on her a sentence of 100 lashes and seven years in prison.
Nightmare for the Mexican exiled in her own country, began on June 6, 2021, when she worked at the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the entity in charge of organizing the 2022 World Cup in qatar.
The woman was in Dohaone of the safest cities in the world, when an acquaintance of hers of Latino origin entered her apartment at night and physically assaulted her.
A few hours after the struggle with the man occurred, Paula bruises were seen on his left arm, shoulder and back. According to him, she recounted through a letter to the Cuestione web portal, took pictures of the wounds “so that my memory, in an attempt at self-protection, would not minimize the events or completely erase part of them.”
In addition, the woman went to the police to file the complaint in the company of the Consul of Mexico in Qatar, Luis Ancona; However, they interrogated her in Arabic, a language that the consul did not know, so she points out that he was not prepared to deal with a situation like this.
Schietekat was told by lawyers that one way of avoiding conviction was to marry her attacker but instead decided to flee the country, leaving behind what she called her ‘dream job’.
The charges against Schietekat, who is a behavioural economist, are still valid and she is expected to be sentenced in absentia on March 6.
Schietekat, writing on Julio Astillero, explained the attacker was able to gain access to her apartment in Doha because it is common for residents to leave their doors unlocked and rely on the security of the building.
The man, who Schietekat said she considered a friend, allegedly managed to wrestle her to the floor and rape her, leaving her arms, shoulders and back covered in bruises.
Schietekat said she took pictures of the scene and documented what had happened on her phone before fleeing her home and spending the night in a hotel, fearing her attacker would return.
The following morning she got a medical certificate and, with an official from the Mexican consul in Doha, reported the alleged rape to Qatari police using her limited Arabic.
Police asked whether she wanted a restraining order against the attacker or to press criminal charges against him.
Schietekat told police she wanted to press charges and signed a statement in Arabic to the effect, giving officers the name and details of the man.
However, hours later, around 9pm, she was called and told to return to the station where she was put in front of the man she had accused and questioned for three hours in Arabic.
The alleged attacker had told police that he and Schietekat were in a relationship, so officers asked to look at her phone to find evidence of intimacy, which she denied.
Her attacker was acquitted on charges of assault because ‘there were no cameras pointing directly at the door of the apartment, so there was no way to verify that the assault happened’, Schietekat said.
She was then warned by lawyers that one of the only ways to avoid a conviction would be to marry her alleged attacker.
Schietekat chose to flee the country instead, leaving behind what she later described as her ‘dream job’ and was helped out of Doha by the World Cup committee.
“I had never breathed with more relief than when my passport was stamped,’ she wrote. ‘In Mexico the adrenaline stopped and a slower process began, although just as complex and painful.”