Woman Who Faced Jail In Dubai For Sending 'F*** You' Text Is Allowed To Leave Country
A British woman who was facing two years in jail in Dubai after sending a WhatsApp message to her flatmate saying 'f*** you' has been released from the country after paying a £600 fine.
The 31-year-old is reportedly feeling 'very relieved' after she was told she could go free days before all arrivals from the country were required to spend time in quarantine hotels.
The unnamed woman is now at her parent's home in Gloucester and is looking forward to putting the 'traumatic ordeal' behind her.
The woman had initially been told she couldn't leave Dubai to fly back to the UK when she attempted to fly home on 30 January.
It was then revealed that her flatmate, a Ukrainian national, had filed a criminal complaint about her under the United Arab Emirates cybercrime laws.
According to the Daily Mail, the pair had had a disagreement over the use of a table in their shared flat during lockdown.
Speaking to the Daily Mail before she returned to the UK, the woman said: "This is just a nightmare and the thought of losing my new job is too much.
"I've no apartment and no job and no money. My visa to stay here runs out on February 12th and the police just don't seem to understand.
"I'm banging my head against a brick wall. No one cares."
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The woman who made the complaint refused to withdraw it and the woman who had been complained about was warned she was facing prison.
However, in the end she was given a fine after British embassy staff in Dubai and United Arab Emirates diplomats in the UK worked together on her behalf.
Radha Stirling, founder of Detained in Dubai, said the woman was allowed to return to the UK because of a combination of diplomatic pressure and media coverage.
She told the news outlet: "She's relieved to have made it home after a very traumatic experience where she knew she could have been jailed. Nobody should have to go through this."
Speaking to Detained Dubai, the woman said: "I would never have expected a European to take advantage of the UAE's strict laws.
"We shared a flat and we were all casual with one another.
"I've never been in trouble in my life, and I'm shocked that I've been criminalised over a private WhatsApp exchange with someone whom I lived with.
"What's worse, the messages were from months ago and only now, when I've shipped all of my belongings, booked a flight and when my visa is about to expire, do I even find out about this case.
"I tried to plead with her to drop the case, but she doesn't seem to care about the impact this is having."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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