The arrest of a British woman and her daughter, because of an old post on Facebook, highlighted the UAE notorious cyber crimes law and the abuses it carries of the rights of the UAE citizens.
A British woman faces a two-year jail sentence in Dubai and a £ 50,000 fine after being accused of using language that discredits her divorced husband’s wife because of two Facebook comments she wrote while she was in the UK in 2016, according to Detained in Dubai human rights organization.
Laleh Shahravesh, 55, from Richmond, southwest London, was arrested with her teenage daughter at Dubai airport in March, when they visited Dubai to attend her ex-husband’s funeral after he died with a heart attack on March 3, activists say.
Later, her 14-year-old daughter was allowed to fly home alone, and today she lives with her relatives. A Foreign Office spokesman said they supported Shaherafsh and her family after being held in the Arab Emirates adding “We are in contact with the UAE authorities regarding her case,” according to BBC.
Shahravesh’s 18-year marriage lasted eight months, and Shahravesh returned to London with her daughter, while her husband remained in the UAE, and he intended to join them later.
A few months later, Shahravesh received her divorce papers from her husband, and shortly after she saw pictures of Facebook for her to be with his new wife. She wrote two comments in Persian, in one of them: “I hope you go under the ground, you idiot. Damn you. You left me for this horse.”
The head of Detained in Dubai organization Radha Stirling, said that her client was released on bail, after the confiscation of her passport, and is currently staying in a hotel. And that she and her family are in shock and need time to recover.
Stirling said her organization and the British Foreign Office had asked the complainant to withdraw her complaint but had refused to describe the decision as “vindictive,” and that Shahravesh’s daughter filed an appeal in her mother’s case.
“No-one would really be aware” of the severity of cyber-crime laws in the UAE warned Stirling, and demand the British Foreign Office to warn its citizens to do so adequately.