Deportation of Jailed Australian Woman from UAE over Facebook Post


An Australian woman who has been accused for ‘writing bad words’ on social media in Abu Dhabi has now been arrested and deported.


An Australian woman, Jodi Magi, 39, had posted a photo of a car on Facebook degrading a driver who had parked across two disabled parking spaces in her apartment block in February.  The post has no identifying details or names and blacked the number plates of the vehicle to conceal the identity of the owner.  Despite this, a police complaint was filed leading to the West Australian woman having to appear in court last month.  She was detained and spent 53 hours in custody ahead of her planned deportation.

Ms Magi is a graphic artist, belonging to Perth, has been residing in Abu Dhabi for teaching graphic design to Emirati women since 2012, according to her website.  She shared on her Facebook page that she had no idea what mistake she made and had simply used internet to voice her opinion.  She added that she was handcuffed and forced to sleep on a concrete floor during her confinement.

UAE has sanctioned strict Cybercrime laws in the 2012 and it’s becoming a normal practice in Abu Dhabi.  However, human rights groups have condemned the arrest and considered it as a crackdown on freedom of expression.  A spokeswoman from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ms Bishop suggested to local media that Australian travellers needed to respect the laws of the countries they visited.

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