Australian woman detained in Abu Dhabi for ‘offensive’ Facebook Post, to be deported soon

For a nation known for its Islamic style laws, this comes as no surprise. After ordering that using abusive language on WhatsApp will be dealt with penalties including jail sentences and fines up to 250,000 dirham (approx rupees 43,64,098), now it is setting a harsh example of its laws.

An Australian woman was arrested by the Abu Dhabi authorities and is said to be deported soon from the United Arab Emirates after reportedly posting a photo of a car on Facebook parked across two disabled spots outside her Abu Dhabi apartment.

Jodi Magi, 39, was charged under the UAE’s Cyber Crime law and was found guilty of “writing bad words on social media.”

According to News.Com.Au, Jodi Magi, who has worked in the UAE teaching graphic design since 2012, took the photograph in February to get attention to the driver’s apparent lack of consideration; however, she concealed the number plate.

Magi said she was driven around in a car for around four hours after being detained. She was also forced to sign several documents in Arabic without any translation.

On July 12, Magi appeared in an Abu Dhabi court to pay a court-ordered fine of about $2,700. However, when she went to pay the fine on Monday, she was taken into custody pending deportation to Australia.

Julie Bishop, Australian Foreign Minister told media on Tuesday that she expected Magi to be deported in “a very short time,” and that consular officials were giving assistance to Magi and her husband.

She said it would not be right for her to go into the details of the incident while Magi was still in detention.

Earlier Magi said she was not sure as to what would happen to her and charged the Australian government of failing to help her. Beside from advising her to get a lawyer, she said that the Australian embassy has failed to provide any real help.

“I was under the impressions that embassies were in countries to help citizens in times of difficulty,” she said.

“No one is talking to me, no one is telling me what’s going on,” she said on Tuesday.

“And they were about to put me in male lock-up and then they turned me away – no one knows what to do with me. I’m pretty scared.”

It is not yet known how for long she will be imprisoned. Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman said its travel advice for visitors to the United Arab Emirates was that they should be well informed that the country’s laws are more harsh by Australian standards.