A mother held in Dubai over Facebook posts calling her ex-husband’s wife a “horse” has returned to Britain after being freed from “the most horrendous” ordeal.
Laleh Shahravesh, from Richmond, south-west London, landed at Heathrow Airport on Friday morning, according to the Detained in Dubai campaign group that supported her.
She was swiftly reunited with her 14-year-old daughter Paris in an emotional scene at the airport.
While tearfully hugging her daughter, the 55-year-old told reporters: “I’m really, really happy to be reunited.”
Her voice cracking with emotion, she thanked Detained in Dubai chief executive Radha Stirling “who worked tirelessly to get me home to my daughter”.
Shahravesh was detained under controversial cyber-crime laws as she visited the United Arab Emirates for her funeral of ex-husband Pedro Correia Dos Santos in March with Paris.
Authorities had received a complaint over posts made three years ago and Shahravesh was warned she faced prosecution and up to two years in prison.
But during a court appearance on Thursday, a judge ordered that her passport was to be returned if she paid a fine of 3,000 UAE Dirham (£624).
Speaking to Sky News she said: “It’s been the most horrendous period of my life.
“I’ve never been separated from Paris in this way and every day part of me was dying from being away from her, during a time when I knew she needed me the most. So yes, it’s been very traumatic.”
The pair had travelled to the United Arab Emirates on 0 March for the funeral of her ex-husband, who was also Paris’ father.
After discovering he had remarried in 2016, Ms Shahravesh called his new wife, Samah Al Hammadi, from Tunisia, a “horse” on Facebook.
The Detained in Dubai campaign group welcomed the conclusion of Shahravesh’s case, but cautioned that “serious concerns remain regarding the many risks for foreigners in the UAE”.
Radha Stirling, the campaign group’s chief executive, said: “We maintain that the case against Laleh should have been dismissed at the outset, and while we are pleased that her nightmare is over, her conviction on this absurd case sets a dangerous precedent.
“We are pleased that Laleh will be allowed to return home to be reunited with her daughter Paris; but serious concerns remain regarding the many risks for foreigners in the UAE, as well as the apparent docility of the UK consular staff in the Emirates and the refusal of the FCO (Foreign & Commonwealth Office) to update its travel warnings for British citizens to provide them with a more accurate evaluation of the dangers they face in the UAE.”