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Austrailan woman in UAE arrested for Facebook comment

An Australian woman residing in the UAE has been arrested for posting a Facebook comment containing curse words against a person

Published: Updated:

An Australian woman residing in the UAE was arrested for posting a Facebook comment containing curse words against a person who had parked across two disabled parking zones on Tuesday, reported UAE-based Gulf News.

Jodi Magi, who teaches graphic design to Emirati women and runs an art website, has been detained and referred to court for breaching UAE’s cyber law where individuals can be prosecuted for making statements that are disrespectful towards Islam, morals and good conduct.

A statement by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said: “Since 25 May, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has been providing consular assistance to an Australian woman, Ms. Jodi Magi, in the United Arab Emirates after she was sentenced for a cybercrimes offence. Consular officials have provided all appropriate consular assistance to Ms. Magi, in line with the Consular Services Charter, and have kept in close touch with Ms. Magi, her husband and her lawyer. On 12 July, Ms. Magi presented herself to a court in Abu Dhabi to pay a court-ordered fine and was taken into custody pending deportation to Australia. This is normal practice in Abu Dhabi.”

The DFAT also added that consular officials are pushing for Magi’s deportation. “The Australian Government’s travel advice for the UAE warns that local laws that appear harsh by Australian standards nevertheless apply to Australian travelers or residents,” the statement added.

According to a Facebook post uploaded by Magi on Tuesday, she is "safe and out of jail and Abu Dhabi," after paying a $3,600 fine