American woman in jail for 'insulting UAE' at Abu Dhabi airport

The woman who was arrested on February 23 told the judge she did not know why she was on trial


News Desk April 13, 2016
PHOTO: Mail Online

An American woman has spent more than a month in jail in the United Arab Emirates for 'insulting' the state in public when two men approached her at the airport.

The 25-year-old woman is on trial at the Federal Supreme Court after being charged with insulting the country and its leaders through verbal assault.

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On Monday, the woman told the court that she was waiting for a taxi at Abu Dhabi International Airport when two men approached her and spoke to her in a manner she did not like.

PHOTO: Reuters

“The men tried to help me. I had another flight to catch at 1.29am,” she told the judge, according to The National, a government-owned newspaper in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. “I refused to engage with them and nothing happened,” she added.

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The woman who was arrested on February 23 and charged with misdemeanour told the judge she did not know why she was on trial. It is unknown whether any evidence was presented against her.

The woman asked the judge if she could be released from jail after paying a fine. A verdict has been set for May 2.

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The UAE has strict laws governing expression.  Defamation is treated in the UAE as a criminal rather than a civil matter. Insulting the UAE's leaders, or the country can carry a prison sentence and hefty fines.

This article originally appeared on Mail Online.

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COMMENTS (15)

American Travelers | 5 years ago | Reply My husband and i just returned last night frim a 2 week vacation from dubai and abu dhabi. My cousin lives in abu dhabi also an american. As a woman, I felt completely respected and safe at all times. I even mentioned i had been in oman while in the military to many. There are more pakistani and india workers there then locals. But i can tell u as a retired military person.... You have to pay respect to a culture in which u are traveling. You dont draw unnecessary attention to yourself. You learn their customs and respect them (even if u dont like them). You do not run your mouth without thought. This article was soooo vague we have no idea what actually happened. But we had no issues whatsoever in UAE, Not one. Even when i had interactions by myself. We will definitely return. We absolutely loved it there!!
Blue Eyed | 5 years ago | Reply Agree with @SaneVoice
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