Australian woman jailed in Abu Dhabi over Facebook post

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July 14, 2015 By Neil Halligan

An Australian woman has been jailed in Abu Dhabi, pending her deportation, for a cyber-crime offence after she posted a picture of a car parked across two disabled parking spaces outside her apartment.

Jodi Magi (39) blanked out the car registration number and did not provide any names or identifying details about the vehicle, which did not have a disability sticker, according to a report on ABC News.

However, someone lodged a complaint with Abu Dhabi Police and the case went to court, where Magi was found guilty of “writing bad words on social media”. She was issued with a fine and was told that she would be deported.

According to ABC News, who spoke with Magi prior to her detention in jail, she tried to pay the $2,600 (AED10,000) fine and leave the country of her own will, but the authorities insisted that she should present herself to court.

After being found guilty at an Abu Dhabi court on Sunday, Magi was taken into custody pending deportation to Australia.

Despite Magi telling ABC News that the Australian embassy in Abu Dhabi has not provided any help or advice apart from recommending she get a lawyer, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said that consular assistance had been provided to Magi since May 25 and that officials were keeping in close touch with Magi, her husband and her lawyer.

“Australians travelling overseas are subject to the laws of the country they are in, and consular officials can’t prevent the detention of Australians or retrieve their passport if it is held by local authorities,” it said.

“The Australian government’s travel advice for the UAE warns that local laws that appear harsh by Australian standards nevertheless apply to Australian travellers or residents.”

Originally from Perth in Western Australia, Magi moved to Abu Dhabi in 2012 where she taught graphic design and illustration to Emirati women at Zayed University.


Written by

Neil Halligan


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