/Woman facing jail in Dubai for calling ex-husbands new wife a horse

Woman facing jail in Dubai for calling ex-husbands new wife a horse

Updated

April 09, 2019 13:02:32

A British woman who called her ex-husband’s new wife a horse on Facebook faces two years in a Dubai prison, according to campaigners.

Key points:

  • Ms Shahravesh was arrested at the airport when she travelled for her former husband’s funeral
  • Ms Shahravesh’s daughter has written to Dubai authorities asking for her mother’s release
  • A campaigner says the UAE’s cybercrime laws expose unwitting travellers to prosecution

Laleh Shahravesh, 55, was arrested at Dubai airport, along with her daughter, when the pair arrived to attend the funeral for Ms Shahravesh’s ex-husband last month, according to the campaign group Detained in Dubai.

The group says Ms Shahravesh was arrested over two 2016 Facebook posts in which she criticised Tunisian woman Samah Al Hammadi, 42, who had married her ex-husband.

One of the offending comments, written in Farsi, said: “I hope you go under the ground you idiot. Damn you. You left me for this horse.”

Ms Shahravesh posted the comments while living in London with her 14-year-old daughter, Paris.

Authorities allowed Paris to return to London, and she has since written to Dubai’s ruler asking for her mother’s release.

Ms Shahravesh was married to her former husband for 18 years, including living for eight months in the United Arab Emirates, according to Detained in Dubai.

When she and her daughter returned to London, her husband filed for divorce and remarried shortly afterwards, the campaign group says.

Her ex-husband died from a heart attack on March 3, and Ms Shahravesh flew to Dubai because “Paris wanted to say goodbye to her father”.

“I am terrified, I can’t sleep or eat, I have gone down two dress sizes because of the stress,” she said in a press release from Detained in Dubai.

“And my daughter cries herself to sleep every night. We are so close, especially since her father left us and we only have each other.

“It breaks my heart to be kept apart from her.”

Ms Hammadi told the Evening Standard she had been “suffering in silence”, as Ms Shahravesh abused her for more than a year.

“She has been abusing [her husband], sending emails, even to his boss in the bank, saying I am a bitch, that I took him from her, that she doesn’t have money.

“He sent emails asking her to stop. It did not stop.”

The British Foreign Office is supporting Ms Shahravesh, according to the BBC.

Detained in Dubai founder Radha Stirling said the UAE’s cybercrime laws “apply extraterritorially and retroactively”, exposing unwitting travellers to prosecution.

“It is simply unreasonable that a country wishing to attract Western tourism arrests and charges a woman for a Facebook post made years ago from outside of the UAE’s jurisdiction,” she said.

“With the cases of Princess Latifa, Jamal Khashoggi, Rahaf Mohammed and Hakeem al-Araibi, we are seeing an increased incidence of abuses in the gulf region.”

Topics:

human-interest,

marriage,

united-arab-emirates

First posted

April 09, 2019 12:59:50