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

Published: April 13, 2016
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PHOTO: Mail Online

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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Reader Comments (15)

  • Qazi Rahim
    Apr 13, 2016 - 4:56PM

    When in Arab country, an Arab tries to molest you, resistance is crime, that’s the lesson hereRecommend

  • Point
    Apr 13, 2016 - 7:23PM

    No different case than aafia Siddique. She could have also attempted harm. And at least she is treated fairly. Recommend

  • Melody Parker
    Apr 13, 2016 - 11:13PM

    Lesson learned: If you are a woman, stay away from countries where women are treated as less than human. Problem solved.Recommend

  • Syed111
    Apr 14, 2016 - 12:28AM

    I doubt. Because arabs are shameless and have no dignity whatsoever. Something else has happened. Such commendable act like defending one’s dignity infront of a GORA is not expected by an arab.Recommend

  • syed & syed
    Apr 14, 2016 - 1:46AM

    What prompted this young lady to travel to Abu Dhabi.Recommend

  • cheebz
    Apr 14, 2016 - 3:57AM

    good on the arabs.. atleast americans will know what it feels like profiling and mistreating people from other nationalities.Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Apr 14, 2016 - 8:26AM

    @Syed111:
    where in the article does it state the detained person is “GORA” ? Recommend

  • SaneVoice
    Apr 14, 2016 - 9:17AM

    These Americans think they can do whatever they please, Its amusing to see how people point fingers at Muslims for not integrating with the western world when in the West but are shamelessly trying to defend that it’s okay to go against Muslim countries cultures and rules. Hypocrites!!! Recommend

  • sane
    Apr 14, 2016 - 9:57AM

    sand monkeys are retardedRecommend

  • Mamu
    Apr 14, 2016 - 10:30AM

    Where in the article did it say that the two men had bad intentions? Why to commentators here like to make up stories. First come to UAE and then talk about it. Much more respect is given to ladies here than in Europe or in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Mohammad
    Apr 14, 2016 - 11:44AM

    There is a law in a country – good or bad that’s another thing. That law is passed by the local authorities and every person visiting that country must respect the law no matter who you are.

    Buy and eat a chewing gum in Singapore and you will see!

    UAE doesn’t differentiate between black & white, man or women, big or short, Muslim or non Muslim but their laws speak. Recommend

  • Pakistan Zindabad
    Apr 14, 2016 - 12:08PM

    The most “Intolerated” nation who teach toleration to other. Very common between them.Recommend

  • Pakistan Zindabad
    Apr 14, 2016 - 12:16PM

    @Haji Atiya:
    Point to be noted you-r (not) honoured @Syed111.Recommend

  • Blue Eyed
    Apr 14, 2016 - 5:17PM

    Agree with @SaneVoiceRecommend

  • American Travelers
    Apr 14, 2016 - 6:49PM

    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!! Recommend

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