A British single mother arrested in Dubai for insulting her ex-husband’s new wife on Facebook, has been allowed to return to the UK.
The campaign group Detained in Dubai reported that Laleh Sharavesh, 55, was fined €723 fine after a court hearing and can now leave the country.
In 2016 Sharavesh described a Tunisian woman, Samah Al Hammadi, as a “horse” on Facebook after being shocked to hear that she had married her ex-husband Pedro. She had only just received divorce papers after 18 years of marriage.
The couple had lived together in Dubai for several months before Sharavesh returned to London with their daughter.
Sharavesh was arrested at Dubai airport on March 10 after flying to the United Arab Emirates with her 14-year-old daughter Paris to attend the funeral of her former husband, who had died of a heart attack. She was accused under laws that could have brought two years in jail and a fine of tens of thousands of euros.
Under Dubai’s cybercrime laws, people who visit can be heavily fined and jailed for social media posts made before they visit. It’s believed that Sharavesh – who had lived in the UAE for eight months – was arrested following a complaint from her ex-husband’s new wife.
Detained in Dubai says the offending comments were made in Farsi. Sharavesh is said to have written “you left me for this horse” and “you married a horse you idiot”.
She acknowledges she “reacted badly” and “lashed out”, but says she was angry and hurt after learning of her ex-husband’s new marriage when she saw pictures of the wedding on Facebook.
Police freed Sharavesh on bail with her daughter. But while Paris was flown back to London and has since been staying with relatives, her mother was not allowed to leave Dubai before Thursday’s hearing.