In the middle of 2015 I wrote about a strange law in the UAE that could get you deported along with a $68,000 fine.
Apparently, insulting the United Arab Emirates could also get you into some big trouble if you do so in the country.
According to Travel + Leisure, “An American Woman Was Thrown in Jail for “Insulting” the U.A.E. at Airport“.
While the 25-year-old woman, Diana Al Koud says she got thrown in jail for turning down help from two men at the airport, that’s not what the UAE government says. Al Koud is being accused of insulting the government of the UAE while waiting for a taxi.
I came across this story a few days back but it turns out that she’s been in jail since the end of February and only just went on trial last Monday.
T+L says that this situation “raises concerns about women traveling alone in the country”.
The story is definitely a bit odd and not a lot of details were available. Al Koud did not accept a court appointed lawyer or hire one of her own. There was also no family members or anyone from the US Embassy present.
I’m curious to find out more about this case and what the court decides. Al Koud asked to pay a fine and be released from jail but the verdict won’t be decided until May 2.
Bottom line: If are visiting or plan to visit the UAE, be careful what you say. Make sure not to speak poorly of the UAE government, country or its leaders or else you could face jail time and big fines.
Find out more from Travel + Leisure here.