We’ve all been there, days when everything seemingly isn’t going to plan, everyone is annoying and you just can’t bite your tongue any more. However, if ever there was a cautionary tale as to why it’s good to be more zen, this is it.
A 25-year-old American woman is on trial at the Federal Supreme Court on misdemeanor charges after allegedly insulting the UAE in public while waiting for a taxi at Abu Dhabi Airport.
The incident is said to have occurred on February 23, when two men allegedly approached the unnamed woman and spoke to her in a manner she didn’t like. However according to a report, the woman said she “refused to engage with them [the two men] and nothing happened.” The report didn’t specify if any evidence was used against the woman.
“The men tried to help me,” she told the judge. “I had another flight to catch at 1:29am. I refused to engage with them and nothing happened.”
The National have reported that as the matter is being treated as a misdemeanor a lawyer is not required. The woman has been in jail since February 23, despite trying to pay a fine for bail.
An Associated Press query to the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi stated that the embassy, “is aware of the case and is providing consular services.”
Defamation is treated as a civil matter in the UAE, this include insulting the nation’s leaders, and the country itself. Punishment can range from steep fines to a prison sentence.
Only last month a man was jailed for three years for insulting the UAE on Whatsapp. While in 2013, an American citizen was also sentenced to a year in jail and fined Dhs10,000 for posting a parody video about the UAE on YouTube.
If ever there was a time to start those mindfulness classes it’s now.
The American woman’s verdict is scheduled for May 2.