Five Indian men have been arrested in Qatar after reportedly gang raping a Filipina woman in her home, the Phillippines Embassy has confirmed.
The victim, a 32-year-old woman whose children lived back home, had been working here illegally and living in a shared apartment.
Earlier this month, five men entered her room, claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officials, the embassy’s Vice Consul, Melvin Almonguera, told Doha News.
The woman, who reported the attack to the embassy this week, said that, after asking to see her residency papers, the men took turns raping her.
It’s believed the alleged attack took place on Aug. 10. The victim reported the crime two weeks later, giving police descriptions of the men involved.
The men were arrested soon afterwards. Philippines news network GMA has reported that the men were apprehended in a joint CID and Interpol operation, but Doha News been unable to confirm this.
According to Almonguera:
“The embassy is monitoring her case, and we’ll do everything we can to assist her.
“We are arranging counseling support from the Qatar Foundation For Combating Human Trafficking, who have a specialist rape team.”
The victim will remain in Qatar to monitor the progress of the case, and would like to stay here to work, he added.
It is unclear what charges have been filed against the men, though in addition to assault, impersonating a police officer is also a criminal offense.
This is not the first time a violent crime like this has been reported to the embassy, though this type of case still remains uncommon in Qatar, Almonguera said.
The Ministry of Interior were not immediately available for comment.
Despite enjoying one of the lowest crime rates in the world, the number of reported crimes has sky-rocketed in Qatar in the past decade, due to the rapid increase in the country’s population.
The crime rate jumped from 320 crimes per 100,000 people in 2001 to 2,355 crimes in 2010, the 2011 Sustainable Development Indicators report states.
Following the news of this case, the Philippines Embassy is issuing a warning to all nationals in Qatar to be on their guard when officials visit their home.
“It’s important that everyone should look for identification from those who are trying to enter their accommodation or their homes.
“And they should know that when the authorities conduct raids, they have female employees with them, and they show their ID. If anyone is in doubt, they can refuse entry.”
Credit: Image for illustration purposes only by Mohamed Ibrahim