World Cup worker faces 100 lashes and 7yrs in jail after reporting rape in Qatar

22 February 2022, 23:34 | Updated: 23 February 2022, 09:21

Paola Schietekat, left Qatar after she was sexually assaulted while working for the World Cup
Paola Schietekat, left Qatar after she was sexually assaulted while working for the World Cup. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

A World Cup official says she is facing a punishment of 100 lashes and seven years in jail after she reported being raped in Qatar.

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Paola Schietekat, 28, from Mexico, left Qatar after she was sexually assaulted while working for the World Cup organising committee.

The official alleges an associate broke into her apartment and threatened to kill her before raping her, leaving her left arm, shoulder and back covering in bruises.

Paola, who reported the attack on June 6, 2021, said Qatari police responded by accusing her of having an affair and charged her with 'extramarital sex', which is illegal in the Gulf state. 

The 2022 World Cup worker was forced to flee the country, leaving behind what she called her 'dream job' after told by lawyers that one way of avoiding conviction was to marry her attacker.

Saying: "I had never breathed with more relief than when my passport was stamped. In Mexico the adrenaline stopped and a slower process began, although just as complex and painful."

Despite leaving the country, the charges against Paola are reportedly still valid, and she is set to be sentenced on March 6.

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Writing on Julio Astillero, Schietekat said the attacker who she considered a friend, allegedly gained access to her apartment through an unlocked door before wrestling her to the floor and attacking her.

She took took pictures of the scene and gained a medical certificate before reporting the alleged rape to Qatari police.

But after the attacker claimed that he and Schietekat were in a relationship, police asked her to undergo a virginity test, and brought charges against her.

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After going public with her allegations Paola, hit out at the Mexican foreign ministry for failing to protect its citizens living in Qatar form gender-based violence.

She has since met with Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard who confirmed the state would provide legal representation "ensuring that all her rights as a Mexican citizen are respected".

Qatar was awarded the tournament in 2010 and has since been involved in numerous scandals and heavy criticism of the government's human rights policies.

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