Laleh Shahravesh, 55, faces up to two years in jail and a large fine for allegedly insulting her ex-husband’s wife on Facebook nearly three years ago.
According to campaign group Detained in Dubai, authorities took action after the new wife complained about the comments, which were made in 2016. Shahravesh reportedly posted the remarks to social media in Farsi, including one directed to her ex-husband that said, “I hope you go under the ground you idiot. Damn you. You left me for this horse.”
Shahravesh, of Richmond, south-west London, was arrested at a Dubai airport after flying there on March 10 with her 14-year-old daughter to attend the funeral of her ex-husband. Her daughter was “very upset” and reportedly had to fly home on her own, the CEO of Detained In Dubai Radha Stirling told the BBC. She is currently staying with relatives.
“[She has] been through really what you would call hell” Stirling said. “All she wants is to be reunited with her mother.”
Shahravesh was married to her ex-husband for 18 years and the couple lived together in Dubai for eight-months. She moved to London with their daughter while her husband stayed in the United Arab Emirates. They planned for him to join them in London.
According to The Guardian, Shahravesh received divorce papers a few months later and soon learned that her husband had remarried. That’s when she allegedly posted the online remarks about his new wife.
Shahravesh is being held in Dubai under the United Arab Emirates’ strict online defamation laws, even though she was not living there when she purportedly wrote the comments.
According to the BBC, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is supporting the mother.
“Our staff are supporting a British woman and her family following her detention in the UAE,” the FCO said in a statement. “We are in contact with the UAE authorities regarding her case.”
Shahravesh is due in court on April 11, according to TIME.