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Laleh Shahravesh (Detained in Dubai)
Laleh Shahravesh (Detained in Dubai)

'Let her come home'

British woman facing prison in Dubai for insulting ex-husband’s new wife on Facebook

By WITW Staff on April 10, 2019

A British woman who flew to Dubai for her ex-husband’s funeral has been arrested there over Facebook comments she made three years ago about her former husband’s new wife.

Laleh Shahravesh was with her 14-year-old daughter Paris at the Dubai airport when authorities apprehended her and confiscated her passport for violating the country’s cyber-crime laws. Paris was forced to fly home to the U.K. alone, and is now working to put together an appeal for her mother’s case, according to activist group Detained in Dubai.

“I cannot emphasize enough how scared I felt, especially after losing my father just a week before, as I was having to worry about losing my mother as well,” said Paris in a letter written to Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum. “I ask kindly: please, please return my mother’s passport, and let her come home.”

Shahravesh, a British citizen, was married to her husband for 18 years and lived with him for eight months in the United Arab Emirates, according to Detained in Dubai. But after Shahravesh chose to return to the U.K. with her daughter, Paris, her husband stayed in the country and the pair divorced. In 2016, Shahravesh learned that her former husband had remarried after he shared pictures of himself and his new wife on Facebook. From the U.K., Shahravesh, wrote, “I hope you go under the ground you idiot. Damn you. You left me for this horse.”

According to Detained in Dubai, the U.A.E.’s cyber-crime laws allow for people to be jailed or fined for defamation on social media — even if the comments were made from outside the country. After the new wife opted to press charges against Shahravesh upon her arrival the U.A.E. for her ex-husband’s funeral, the British resident is now facing up to two years in prison and a fine of $65,000.

Read the full story at BBC News.


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