American woman on trial for ‘insulting UAE’ at the airport

​The 25-year-old said that she has been in jail since February 23



An American woman is currently facing trial at the United Arab Emirates’ Federal Supreme Court for allegedly insulting the country in public, The National reported.

The 25-year-old is being charged with “insulting the country and its leaders through verbal assault,” the report said.

The accused told the court she was waiting for a taxi at the Abu Dhabi airport when two men approached her.

“The men tried to help me. I had another flight to catch at 1:29am. I refused to engage with them and nothing happened,” she said.

The woman, who claimed she has been in jail since February 23, requested the judge if she could leave the prison by paying a fine.

The verdict is scheduled for May 2, the report added.

The UAE has very strict rules about “insulting the country” either verbally or on cyberspace.

Last month, a man was sentenced to jail and fined by the Federal Supreme Court after he was found guilty of insulting the country on messaging service WhatsApp.

The Gulf national, S.M.S, was charged with “disseminating information with a view to ridicule and damage the reputation of the state symbols”. He also allegedly ridiculed Emirati soldiers killed in Yemen, describing them as ‘cowards’ on WhatsApp.

The man was sentenced to three years in prison and fined Dhs 50,000. He will be deported after serving his jail term in the country.

In 2013, an American citizen was also sentenced to a year in jail and fined Dhs 10,000 for posting a parody video about the UAE on YouTube.

Read:
UAE Frees American Jailed For YouTube Parody Video

Shezanne Cassim was charged with violating UAE’s cybercrimes law, which makes acts deemed damaging to the country’s reputation or national security punishable by fines and jail time.