It's Paul Olarewaju's Blog Again!!!: Woman Gets Fined & Jailed For Posting Picture Of A Car On Facebook In Abu Dhabi

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Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Woman Gets Fined & Jailed For Posting Picture Of A Car On Facebook In Abu Dhabi

If this kind of law exists in Nigeria, I bet virtually everyone would be an ex-convict. So according to report,  Abu Dhabi officials threw Austrailian Jodi Magi in jail for posting a picture of a parked car online!

The whole drama started in February when Magi who was annoyed at a driver who took up two handicap-parking spaces in her apartment’s lot, posted a photo of the car on Facebook. (but has since removed it, according to Sydney Morning Herald).

According to ABC News, 39-year-old Magi didn’t include any identifying elements in the photo, but to her surprise, a complaint was filed and she was in an Abu Dhabi courtroom where she was found guilty under a UAE cybercrime law of “writing bad words on social media about a person,” hit with a
$2,700 fine, and told she’d be deported from Abu Dhabi, where she’s lived since 2012.

When asked by ABC what she had done, she replied, “I have zero idea. I used the Internet.” She adds she was forced to sign documents written in Arabic, with no translation provided.

When Magi showed up to pay the fine on Sunday, things went more awry: She was arrested and taken into custody. “No one is telling me what’s going on,” she told ABC. “They were about to put me in the male lockup and then they turned me away, and no one knows what to do with me.”

“This is normal practice in Abu Dhabi,” according to a UAE Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade statement, per the Australian, while the Aussie foreign affairs minister says she expects Magi to be deported in “a very short time” and that consular officials were helping Magi—an assertion Magi doesn’t agree with, per the ABC.

A human rights researcher tells the Herald people take a chance when they use social media in stricter countries like the UAE, saying, “Basically anyone who … makes any comment online about another person could fall foul of (cybercrime and defamation) laws if someone complains.”

So my Naija peeps who lovers of travelling to the UAE, please be careful o!

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