Further anguish for British homeless shelter worker trapped in Dubai.
Laleh Shahravesh was expecting to hear her fate today, only to be told by the Emirati judge that the case would be postponed, and no date given as to when.
No relief for Laleh Shahravesh, or her daughter Paris, fraught with anxiety about a future without her mum.
Instead, what was anticipated to be the day the court’s judgement would be issued became another painful delay in the case, as the complainant, Samah Al Hammadi failed to turn up, and was being represented by a new attorney who requested more time to acquaint himself with the case.
Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai, who is representing Laleh, said, “It appears that the complainant may be prolonging the process; making it all the more torturous for Laleh and her daughter. There have been ever changing signals by Ms Hammadi since this debacle began; once saying she would withdraw the complaint out of respect for her late husband’s love for his daughter; then saying she would drop the charges if Laleh apologised; and the latest reports are that she is seeking monetary compensation. Now, she has brought in a new lawyer and caused a further delay.
“It is frankly shocking that the court is allowing this frivolous use of the Cybercrime laws instead of dismissing the case outright. There is no public endangerment here, no hate speech, no incitement to violence, no threat; the complainant had the remedy available to everyone else who uses social media and takes offence at someone’s remarks: block and delete. It is patently absurd to escalate such a trivial matter to criminal charges, and the court should use this case as an opportunity to clarify that the Cybercrime laws were not enacted to criminalise the pain of a newly divorced mother who has been financially abandoned.
“Rather than leaving Laleh’s fate in the hands of Ms Hammadi, the court should dismiss the case on its merits, and let her go home to her daughter.”
Later today, the judge in the case will fix the date of the next hearing, expected to be next week.
Radha Stirling, is founder and CEO of UK / USA based legal and human rights organisation Detained in Dubai, Expert Witness and respected analyst of Middle East Policy.
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