Australian guilty of UAE cybercrime to be deported

An early morning sun lights the Abu Dhabi skyline on December 19, 2009 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Social media users have been warned about the UAE's tough cybercrime laws

An Australian arrested in Abu Dhabi for cybercrime will soon be deported, said the Australian government.

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said Jodi Magi had been detained in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and required to pay a fine.

Ms Magi was detained in July for what appears to be a social media posting.

She told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. (ABC) she was arrested after posting a photo on Facebook of what she thought was an illegally parked car.

Ms Bishop would not discuss the specifics of the case but said consular officials had offered Ms Magi and her husband assistance "ever since she was charged with cybercrime under UAE law".

"I am expecting her to be deported in a very short time," Ms Bishop told journalists on Tuesday.

Local laws

Ms Bishop also urged Australian travellers to adhere to the laws of the countries they visited.

Cybercrime laws enacted in the UAE in 2012 to crack down on dissent have been condemned by human rights groups.

The Department of Foreign Affairs' travel advice for the UAE warns that local laws that appear harsh by Australian standards nevertheless apply to Australian travellers or residents.

Ms Magi told the ABC she had no idea what she had done was wrong.

In a photo she posted on Facebook, she blacked out the number plate of a car parked across two disabled parking spaces in front of her Abu Dhabi apartment.

"I'm putting my life in the hands of chaos," she reportedly said. "I'm terrified."

More on this story