A 25-year-old American woman who was en-route to catch an early morning flight at Abu Dhabi Airport is being charged with allegedly insulting the leaders as well as the country of the United Arab Emirates.
The woman is on trial at the Federal Supreme Court and has been jailed since February 23, having been charged with a misdemeanor.
According to her account in court, the woman had been waiting in the Abu Dhabi International Airport for a taxi when two men approached her and she spoke to them in a way they did not like.
“The men tried to help me. I had another flight to catch at 1:29am,” she told the judge. “I refused to engage with them and nothing happened.”
According to The National, the woman told the judge she did not know why she was on trial and that nothing had happened.
It is not known what evidence was presented against the woman at the trial.
She reportedly asked the judge if she could pay a fine to get out of jail.
The verdict is not scheduled until May 2nd.
Since she was charged with a misdemeanor, a lawyer was not required.
Defamation in the UAE is treated as a criminal matter and insulting the country and/or the leaders can carry prison time and hefty fines.
While the UAE is liberal on some matters, personal expression remains closely monitored.
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