Laleh Sharavesh, 55, pictured with her daughter Paris, faces up to two years in jail in Dubai over a Facebook post.
Laleh Sharavesh, 55, pictured with her daughter Paris, faces up to two years in jail in Dubai over a Facebook post.

Mum arrested for snarky online comment

A TERRIFIED British mum has been arrested in Dubai for calling her ex-husband an "idiot" and his new wife a "horse" on Facebook three years ago.

Laleh Sharavesh, 55, from Surrey, faces up to two years in jail after she was detained along with her daughter Paris, 14, when they arrived in the United Arab Emirates last month for her ex's funeral, The Sun reports.

The Brit, who works in a homeless shelter, learned her former husband's new wife, 42, had reported her social media posts to the police in 2016.

A shocked Ms Sharavesh was detained and her passport confiscated under Dubai's strict cybercrime laws.

Laleh Sharavesh, 55, and her daughter Paris were detained when they arrived in Dubai.
Laleh Sharavesh, 55, and her daughter Paris were detained when they arrived in Dubai.


She has now been banned from leaving the UAE, while Paris was allowed to return home to Richmond upon Thames, West London.

The single mum is scheduled to appear in court on April 11 and faces up to two years in jail and a fine of $91,750.

She told campaign group Detained in Dubai she was "terrified", unable to sleep or eat and has lost "two dress" sizes due to stress.

"And my daughter cries herself to sleep every night," she added.

"We are so close, especially since her father left us, and we only have each other. It breaks my heart to be kept apart from her."

 

The Facebook post that landed Ms Sharavesh in trouble.
The Facebook post that landed Ms Sharavesh in trouble.


Laleh was married to Portuguese banker Pedro for 18 years - and the couple lived in Dubai for eight months - before he left her for Tunisian-born Samah Al Hammadi.

"I had no idea he was getting married again and so soon after our own marriage broke down. I reacted badly," Ms Sharavesh said.

The British mum made the comments while living in the UK when she spotted a wedding picture from her ex.

"I lashed out and wrote two unpleasant comments about his new wife on his Facebook page," she said.

"I know I shouldn't have. I should have behaved better, but I felt angry, betrayed and hurt.

"After 18 years of marriage, such a small amount of time apart, he was getting married so quickly.

"He didn't even have enough respect for me to tell me in advance".

 

Pedro’s new wife Samah Al Hammadi (pictured) reported Laleh to Dubai police over the posts.
Pedro’s new wife Samah Al Hammadi (pictured) reported Laleh to Dubai police over the posts.

 

Writing in Farsi, she posted: "I hope you go under the ground you idiot. Damn you. You left me for this horse. You married a horse you idiot."

Dubai's cybercrime laws state a person visiting Dubai can be heavily fined and jailed for years due to an old social media post.

Following Pedro's death, aged 51, following a heart attack on March 3, Laleh and Paris flew to Dubai on March 10 to attend the funeral.

"We were married for 18 years after all. And Paris wanted to say goodbye to her father," Ms Sharavesh said.

They were arrested "immediately" upon entry, and while the police wanted to take the horrified mum straight to the cells in Jebel Ali, they were fearful of the negative publicity of jailing Paris, Ms Sharavesh said.

 

Laleh Sharavesh faces up to two years in jail.
Laleh Sharavesh faces up to two years in jail.

 

"The police kept telling me to call someone to take my daughter while I went to Jebel Ali," she said.

"But I don't know anyone here well enough for that. Eventually they let us go but kept my passport.

"I am not allowed to leave Dubai. I have been to court once, where I was not allowed to defend myself."

Ms Sharavesh's sister Laden says her sibling "was treated badly" by police in Dubai.

She said the officer who took her statement "laughed and joked" with colleagues while Ms Sharavesh gave her side of the story.

 

Laleh Sharavesh was arrested when she arrived in Dubai for the funeral of her ex-husband, Paris’ father Pedro.
Laleh Sharavesh was arrested when she arrived in Dubai for the funeral of her ex-husband, Paris’ father Pedro.

 

"Finally, he produced a half-page statement in Arabic. When we had it translated, it bore no relation to what Laleh had said," Laden said.

"For example it translated 'horse' as 'bitch'. That word was actually written in English."

Her sister Laden fears her sister could be left "homeless" after losing her job back in the UK.

"Laleh told them she can't afford to stay in even a cheap hotel while she waits and is in danger of becoming homeless in Dubai," she said.

"The FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) staff just told her she should 'find someone to borrow money from'."

 

Laleh Sharavesh and Paris.
Laleh Sharavesh and Paris.

 

Speaking of her financial troubles, Ms Sharavesh said: "I have lost everything because of this. I have no money left after paying to stay in a hotel here for over a month.

"I have lost my job and am unable to pay for rent on the flat I live in with Paris. Because of this we are about to lose the flat.

"I am even in debt to my family for over £5,000 ($A9175). My life is in ruins, and that is even before the huge fines and jail I am facing here.

"All of that is less important than being separated from my daughter, and that's all I want now, just to be back with her".

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission



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