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Five-year trafficking sentence sparks outburst, collapse

Defendant breaks down in court after being convicted of trafficking three women and forcing them into prostitution.

 

DUBAI // One of two Nigerian women sentenced this morning to five years in prison each for deceiving, luring and forcing into prostitution three compatriots collapsed on the ground after hearing her punishment.

ES, 23, screamed when a translator told her the sentence and fell to the ground before presiding judge Fahmy Mounir Fahmy.

She refused to get up when the female police officers asked her to, but eventually stood and started roaming the courtroom, crying and speaking in her native tongue as the officers followed her. SA, 30, her co-defendant, tried to persuade her to go with police to avoid a separate three-year sentence for obstructing justice.
Male police officers could not touch ES, and simply watched as their female colleagues handled the situation. After about 15 minutes, ES was restrained and led away, still crying and screaming.
ES and SA were convicted of trafficking 18-year-old AE, KA, 29, and RA, 31. They were also found guilty of illegally confining the women and physically assaulting them.
All the victims said they were forced into having sex with men in apartments, clients' homes, and sold in hotel clubs.

The women escaped on December 15.

ES and SA will be deported after their prison terms.

 

salamir@thenational.ae

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