We informed you yesterday that the draconian social media laws in the United Arab Emirates had claimed a high-stakes victim after a UK mother aged 55 had been arrested for calling the new wife of her ex-husband a ‘horse’ on Facebook back in 2016. When she flew over to Dubai to attend his funeral together with her daughter, the woman was arrested at the airport. Her 14-year-old daughter had to return to Britain alone and is now pleading with local authorities to release her mother.
Related coverage: UK Woman Arrested At Dubai Airport Over 2016 Facebook Insult
In an emotional open letter, she pleaded: “Your Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, My name is Paris Shahravesh Correia Dos Santos (14 years of age), and my mother, Laleh Shahravesh, is and has been detained in your country for 28 days, after our visit to Dubai to pay our respects to my late father, Pedro Manuel Fialho Correia Dos Santos, who passed away on March 3rd 2019.On arrival, we were stopped at Dubai International Airport due to a Police Case filed in 2017, of which neither my mother nor I were made aware at the time it was placed into the system.”
“The police forced us to sit in the Immigration waiting room for 4 hours, as they tried everything that they could to transfer my mother to the Jebel Ali Police Station, so she could make a statement. However, in order for my mother to make a statement, they had to separate us, due to the law disallowing children from entering police cars.”
“The police refused to listen to my mother because she was crying, so they began to shout at her constantly, telling us both not to cry. Finally, at midnight my mother was given a document written in Arabic which she did not understand and was given no choice but to sign in order for us leave the airport police station.”
“This was the beginning of her detainment, when my mother’s passport was taken by The Dubai Police Force on March 10th 2019.I cannot emphasise enough how scared I felt, especially after losing my father just a week before, as I was having to worry about losing my mother as well. Yet even though I felt terrified on the day that we arrived, the sick feeling in my stomach only became worse.”
In the end, the girl pleads with the rulers of Dubai: “I have not seen my mother in 23 days, and with every passing day, I feel less hopeful of her return. I ask kindly: please, please return my mother’s passport, and let her come home. Yours respectfully,Paris Shahravesh Correia Dos Santos.”
The UK government has not officially reacted yet but more and more tourists are worried about the UAE’s new laws and far that the UK’s Foreign Office (FCO) had failed to adequately warn tourists about them.
The FCO said in a statement: “Our staff are supporting a British woman and her family following her detention in the UAE. We are in contact with the UAE authorities regarding her case.”