The UAE has deported an Australian woman who was allegedly jailed for posting a picture and “writing bad words” on the social networking site Facebook, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
Jodi Magi, a 39-year old graphic design teacher, reportedly posted a picture of a car parked across two disabled parking spots near her apartment block in Abu Dhabi in February.
The vehicle, whose registration number was blacked out by Magi on her Facebook picture, did not have a sticker indicating that it was used by a disabled person.
But Magi was charged after a complaint was filed with the police and the case went to an Abu Dhabi court in June.
Magi was subsequently found guilty by the court for “writing bad words on social media about a person” and was told that she would be deported from the UAE, ABS reported. She was also fined around $3,600 for her act.
According to the cyber crime law in the UAE that was introduced in 2012, individuals can be punished for insults made online.
Earlier this year, an American working in the UAE was arrested for speaking negatively about his employer on Facebook while he was on holiday in the US.
In another case the UAE Supreme Court ordered the retrial of a man who was fined Dhs 3,000 ($800) for swearing at his friend via private messaging service WhatsApp. Lawyers reportedly argued that the man should be fined Dhs 250,000 or face jail, saying that his initial penalty was not impactful.
Authorities have also warned that sending a middle finger emoji symbol is also punishable by law.
However, lawyers have clarified that an individual will not be punished unless an official complaint is registered with the court.