Abu Dhabi officials arrested and jailed an Australian woman for “writing bad words on social media.”
The 39-year-old Jodi Magi posted a photo on Facebook of a car parked across two disabled parking spaces outside her apartment in Abu Dhabi. She blanked out the license number and did not post any identifiable detail.
But a complaint landed her in an Abu Dhabi court. The court found Magi guilty of “writing bad words on social media about a person” and is in risk of deportation.
Magi has since then removed the photo on her Facebook page. She volunteered to deport herself in early July and pay the $3,600 fine, but local authorities refused until she presented herself at court.
Upon arriving at court to pay her fine, officials arrested and jailed her. It is unknown how long authorities will hold her.
It is also not known what charges Magi will be facing. But it is possible that she was arrested in relation to Article 21 of the 2012 Cyber Crime law, which forbids anyone to use technology for invasion of privacy or for offending or attacking another person. Offenses are punishable by a fine and up to one year of jail time.
Magi is not the first expat arrested in the UAE for comments or images posted online.
Australia’s foreign affairs is continuing to assist Magis.