Jul 16 2015
NOT stupid for writing bad words, stupid for choosing to live in a Muslim country like Abu Dhabi at all.
SMH (h/t Patricia K) An Australian woman, Jodi Magi, aged 39, posted a photo to Facebook she had taken of a car parked across two disabled parking spaces outside her apartment in Abu Dhabi. She blanked out the licence number and did not post any identifiable detail, according to the ABC’s PM program on Monday night. But a complaint landed Ms Magi in an Abu Dhabi court, where she was found guilty of “writing bad words on social media about a person” and told she would be deported.
Ms Magi tried to voluntarily deport herself in early July and pay the roughly $3600 fine, but local authorities refused, until she presented herself at court. When she arrived at court to pay her fine she was arrested and jailed.
Ms Magi spent time as a graphic designer in Perth and Melbourne before moving to Abu Dhabi in 2012. She wrote that she has been teaching local Emirati women graphic design, and working on her own art projects.
Ms Magi is not the first expat to be arrested in the UAE for comments or images posted online. An American man was jailed for posting a video to YouTube that parodied Dubai teens’ adoption of hip hop culture, while another American man faced imprisonment for a Facebook post criticising his employer and Arab people. The charges in the latter case were eventually dropped.