Feud between wife, ex-wife sparks slander case in Dubai

2019-04-08 22:58

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A British woman has been prevented from leaving Dubai, police in the Emirate said on Monday, after her ex-husband's new wife pressed defamation charges over comments on Facebook.

Dubai police confirmed a 55-year-old British woman was being tried for defamation under the UAE's cybercrime law.

Police said the woman had never been held in custody, but had confessed to making the statements and refused attempts to settle out of court.

They said that following a complaint by a Portugese man and his Tunisian wife in 2017, a warrant had been issued requiring her to present herself to the police.

"Upon her return to the country on 10 March 2019, the outstanding warrant prompted the immigration authorities at the airport to bring the matter to the British woman's attention," the police said in a statement.

"She was requested to attend the nearest police station."

A Foreign Office spokesperson confirmed British authorities were in contact with the UAE over the case.

"Our staff are supporting a British woman and her family following her detention in the UAE," he told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"We are in contact with the UAE authorities regarding her case."

Defamatory Facebook comments

While police would not disclose the woman's identity, the London-based group Detained in Dubai identified her as Laleh Sharavesh.

It said Sharavesh's Portuguese husband of 18 years divorced her to marry a Tunisian woman in Dubai.

The man died last month and Sharavesh flew to Dubai with their daughter for his funeral, according to Detained in Dubai.

While their daughter was allowed to fly back, Sharavesh was not permitted to leave the country, the group said.

It said the charges are based on two comments Sharavesh posted under her ex-husband's new wedding pictures on Facebook in Farsi:

"I hope you go under the ground you idiot. Damn you. You left me for this horse," she allegedly wrote. "You married a horse you idiot."

Sharavesh's attorney could not be reached for comment.

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