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Australian woman deported from Abu Dhabi over Facebook post

Jasmine Al Kuttab /Abu Dhabi
Filed on July 15, 2015
Australian woman deported from Abu Dhabi over Facebook post
Jodi Magi has been deported from Abu Dhabi over a Facebook post

(Facebook)

The 39 year old was jailed on Sunday July 12 in UAE's capital for cyber crime.


Australian woman, Jodi Magi, has been released from jail in Abu Dhabi and deported, stated officials from The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

DFAT told Khaleej Times that Magi was extradited and officials stated that although the experience may have been difficult for her, they are nonetheless appreciative of the fast handling of the process. "Ms Magi has been deported from Abu Dhabi. We acknowledge this must have been a distressing time for Ms Magi and her family," adding that, "we welcome the fast processing of Ms Magi's case by authorities in the United Arab Emirates." 

The 39 year old was jailed on Sunday July 12 in UAE's capital for cyber crime. The graphic designer, who moved to Abu Dhabi from Perth in 2012, posted a picture on her personal Facebook account of a car that was parked across two disabled parking spaces outside her apartment. A report by Australian Broadcasting Corporation, (ABC News), stated that Magi blanked out the number plate and did not provide details or a name of the vehicle owner. 

Nonetheless, a complaint was made to the Abu Dhabi police and Magi was found guilty for "writing bad words on social media," as stated by ABC News. Magi, who attended court on Sunday to pay the court-ordered fine, was taken into custody and held in detention until her deportation process was completed. 

Officials from the DFAT stressed on the notion that those who travel overseas, must be aware of the rules and regulations that apply in different countries, whether they are visiting, working in or living in. 

DFAT noted that consular officials are unable to preclude the process of detention or avoid cases similar to Magi's. "Australians travelling overseas are subject to the laws of the country they are in, and consular officials can't prevent the detention of Australians or retrieve their passport if it is held by local authorities," stated the DFAT. 

Officials added that the laws apply to both travelers and residents alike, and one should therefore be conscious about their actions and words. "The Australian Government's travel advice for the UAE warns that local laws that appear harsh by Australian standards nevertheless apply to Australian travellers or residents," it stressed. 

DFAT advised that individuals may also be subject to consequences, if they choose to publish offensive or insulting information on the web. "The travel advice also warns of possible severe penalties for posting 'offensive' material online." 

Those who require more information about traveling out of Australia should visit the Smart Traveller's website, noted the DFAT. 

Prior to her deportation, the Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, informed the Media on Tuesday that she believes Magi will be deported in "a very short time," and that consular officials were assisting her throughout the process. 

The photo which landed Magi in hot waters has been removed from her account. However, she posted a comment on her Facebook on Wednesday evening, stating that she has been deported and is thankful for those who have supported her. She is currently taking some time off to relax in Southeast Asia, before returning to her home in Australia, "I am going to take some time for myself to decompress (in Laos), so please forgive any delay in responses to emails and messages," wrote Magi. 

jasmine@khaleejtimes.com





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