British Woman Faces Jail In Dubai After Calling Ex An 'Idiot' On Facebook

Not many people speak too kindly about their exes, especially when they seem to move on too quickly from a long term relationship.

In that situation, it would be fair to say that we'd call them a few names - most would probably be more offensive than 'idiot' - and rightfully so. But Laleh Sharavesh, 55 and a British mum, was arrested with her 14-year-old daughter Paris in Dubai after being reported about a social media post from 2016 in which she called out her ex's behaviour on Facebook.

Sharavesh was held under Dubai's strict cyber crime laws, after her ex's new wife, reported her. When entering the UAE for her ex husband's funeral, she was detained, with her passport confiscated. Her daughter was allowed to return to the UK.

The single mum has been told that she could face up to two years in jail, as well as a hefty fine of £50,000, when she appears in court later this week.

In the offending post, Sharavesh called her ex an 'idiot' and his new wife a 'horse', after the Portuguese banker remarried just six months after their 18 year marriage had ended.

Shavaresh voiced her anger on social media. Credit: Detained in Dubai
Shavaresh voiced her anger on social media. Credit: Detained in Dubai

Speaking to Mail Online about her ordeal, Sharavesh said: "I am terrified. I can't sleep or eat. I have gone down two dress sizes because of the stress.

"And my daughter cries herself to sleep every night. We are so close, especially since her father left us and we only have each other. It breaks my heart to be kept apart from her."

As she made the Facebook post while living in the UK, two years earlier, she thought nothing more about the comments, unaware that al Hammadi, his new wife, had complained to authorities in Dubai - where social media posts can be used in a prosecution.

Sharavesh is due in court. Credit: Detained in Dubai
Sharavesh is due in court. Credit: Detained in Dubai

Radha Stirling, CEO of human rights organisation Detained In Dubai is officially representing Sharavesh.

She said: "I have spoken with Laleh, her mother, sisters and daughter Paris. Their experience is heartbreaking.

"Not only has Paris lost her father, but in going to visit him to say her final goodbye, she wound up in a frightening Middle Eastern police station, and is now without her mother."

She believes that the Foreign Office's advice to Western tourists in Dubai isn't good enough, adding: "When the UAE introduced Cybercrime laws, it rendered almost every visitor to the country a criminal.

"Visitors to Dubai are rightfully unaware that they could be jailed for a Facebook or Twitter post made from outside the jurisdiction of the UAE, and made years ago."

Further advice on travel in Dubai can be found here.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Amelia Ward

Amelia Ward is a journalist at LADbible. She studied Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, before going on to work in music PR. She has also written for the M.E.N Group and various other publications.

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