THE British mum held in Dubai for calling her ex’s new wife a horse on Facebook revealed she was suicidal as she was held for 33 days.
Laleh Shahravesh got into trouble with the Gulf state’s authorities over posts from three years ago, and feared she wouldn’t see her 14-year-old daughter again.
But the 55-year-old, from Richmond, London, landed in Heathrow yesterday morning after her passport was returned by authorities in the UAE.
She told the Sunday People: “The day before I was told I was free to go I’d given up hope.
“I was suicidal. I felt like I was never going to see my daughter again and sent a message to my sister saying ‘I can’t do this any more.’
“I told her, ‘It’s killing me, every day is killing me.’ I felt so much pain and then I turned off my phone.
“I could see my whole life flashing before my eyes and I just wanted to die. It was torture to me.”
Laleh was detained under controversial cyber-crime laws as she visited the United Arab Emirates for the funeral of ex-husband Pedro Correia Dos Santos in March.
Authorities had received a complaint over posts made three years ago and the terrified Brit was warned she faced prosecution and up to two years in prison.
She said she was made to sign a statement in Arabic, despite her not being able to understand what it said.
I felt so much pain and then I turned off my phone.
But during a court appearance on Thursday, a judge ordered that her passport was to be returned if she paid a fine of £624.
She added: “I was feeling really dizzy and sick and then I think I must have passed out because the next thing I knew I woke up and there was a message from my lawyer telling me a judge had ruled I was free to go.
“It felt like I was dreaming and I didn’t believe it was real. I burst into tears of happiness.”
Since her release she says she is struggling to adjust, and still hasn’t been able to go outside .
But despite the devastating experience the mum says she is planning on returning to Dubai to help Paris get closure over the death of her dad.
Speaking to Sky News Laleh 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.”
Laleh and her daughter had travelled to Dubai on March 10 for the funeral of her ex-husband, who was also Paris’ father.
After discovering he had remarried in 2016, Laleh called his new wife, Samah Al Hammadi, from Tunisia, a “horse” on Facebook.
The Detained in Dubai campaign group welcomed the conclusion of the 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.”
POSTS FROM 2016 REPORTED TO POLICE
The Brit, who works in a homeless shelter, learned that Al Hammadi, 42, had reported her social media posts to the police in 2016.
She called her former partner an “idiot” in the post which read: “I hope you go under the ground you idiot. Damn you. You left me for this horse.”
A shocked Laleh was detained and her passport confiscated under Dubai’s strict cyber crime laws.
She was banned from the leaving the UAE while Paris was allowed to return home to Richmond upon Thames, West London.
Dubai’s cybercrime laws state that an old social media post from before a person visits Dubai can see them heavily fined and jailed for years.
Following Pedro’s death, aged 51, following a heart attack on March 3, Laleh and Paris flew to Dubai on the March 10 to attend the funeral.