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Woman Jailed in UAE: American Denies She Insulted the Country

Image: Woman Jailed in UAE: American Denies She Insulted the Country
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By    |   Tuesday, 12 Apr 2016 08:09 AM

An American woman has been jailed since February in the United Arab Emirates for allegedly using an "insulting" expression and will not learn her fate until May 2.

According to the country's state-run newspaper, The National, the 25-year-old woman, which the newspaper did not identify, was charged on Monday with a misdemeanor for "insulting the country and its leaders through verbal assault." The incident reportedly happened at the Abu Dhabi International Airport.

The woman told the country's Federal Supreme Court that she has been in jail since Feb. 23. She explained that she was waiting for a taxi and two men approached her.

"The men tried to help me," the woman told a judge. "I had another flight to catch at 1:29 a.m. I refused to engage with them and nothing happened."

The U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi told The Associated Press that it was aware of the woman's case "and is providing consular services." The UAE has strict laws governing expression and defamation is treated as a criminal rather than civil matter.

The woman asked if she could pay a fine so she could leave the country, but a verdict date was set for May 2.

Minnesota resident Shezanne Cassim was released from an UAE jail in January 2014 after spending nine months in jail after helping make and post an online satirical video about the youth culture in the country.

"This guy has been waiting nine months for doing nothing but posting a joke video," U.S. Sen. Amy Klobchar of Minnesota said of Cassim's incarceration at the time. "It was simply a parody video poking fun at teenagers in the suburbs."

Cassim complained then that, "I was tried in a textbook kangaroo court, and I was convicted without any evidence."

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An American woman has been jailed since February in the United Arab Emirates for allegedly using an "insulting" expression and will not learn her fate until May 2.
woman, jailed, uae
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2016-09-12
Tuesday, 12 Apr 2016 08:09 AM
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