Daijiworld Media Network - Dubai
Dubai, Feb 5: A British woman who had sent 'F*** You' to her Ukrainian flatmate over private Whatsapp chat during lockdown has been detained and jailed for two years in Dubai. It is said that the argument was over who would use the dining table while working from home in October during the lockdown last year.
The accused, a 31-year-old woman, a human resources manager from Gloucestershire has been living in Dubai since 2018. She was reportedly moving back to the UK permanently last week and was planning to join her partner and start a new job back home. However, airport authorities pulled her aside and was not allowed to catch her flight stating that she was barred from leaving the country due to a police case against her. When apprehended, she had already shipped her belongings to UK. Now she is facing upto two years in jail and thousands of pounds fine.
It is reported that the woman has no cash and nowhere to live while on bail awaiting trial. Currently, she is staying with a friend and waiting for her court date, which may be months off. Her visa also expires in eight days.
After making many trips to the police stations, she found out that her flatmate had lodged a police complaint against her over the heated argument stating that she felt offended. The British woman begged her to drop the case, but the flatmate was reluctant. The woman said that it is a shock to her that she has been criminalized for a private exchange.
Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai and Due Process International, is said to be representing the woman now and has cautioned other visitors that UAE’s overreaching cybercrime laws have been responsible for numerous arrests of foreign nationals.
In her statement, Stirling said that visitors to UAE can be arrested, detained and prosecuted over a swear word, an offensive statement or derogatory comment said in the heat of a moment.