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  • Writer's pictureDetained in Dubai

Woman detained in Dubai over “horse” comment discovers it was all over money

Saga of Laleh Shahravesh continues...

After finally being allowed to return to the UK to be reunited with her daughter, Laleh Shahravesh soon discovered that her conflict with the widow of her ex-husband Pedro, was still not over. Laleh’s story came to international attention last month when she was arrested upon arrival in the UAE and charged with violating the country’s Cybercrime laws for an old post on social media in which she referred to her ex-husband’s new wife as a “horse”.

Laleh and her daughter, Paris, had traveled to the Emirates to pay their final respects to her late ex-husband; to make their final peace with him after years of estrangement following a sudden divorce, and his abrupt marriage to Tunisian, Samah Al Hammadi. Laleh was detained, charged, and ultimately convicted over the emotional post, but after intense media interest in her case, and widespread public outrage, Laleh was only given a light fine, and allowed to go home.

However, in the wake of Pedro’s death, Samah Al Hammadi had not only seen to it that Laleh would be arrested the moment she stepped foot in the UAE; she also filed papers asserting that she alone was the sole heir to Pedro’s inheritance, completely denying the existence of his daughter, Paris.

According to Laleh, Al Hammadi “presented the certificate to hsbc who subsequently released all the monies owed to Pedro including the death in service insurance to the court for distribution to just her. He passed away on the 3rd, his funeral was on the 8th and the succession certificate was approved by the Dubai courts on the 12th; which means she had done that already when we arrived in Dubai. That explains why she wanted me in jail and wouldn’t back down.”

Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai, who represented Laleh throughout her ordeal,

commented, “I advised Laleh to follow up on Pedro’s bequest immediately after her release; given the adversarial relationship that existed between Ms Al Hammadi and Pedro’s only daughter, and the frivolous criminal case she had filed against Laleh; there was every reason to suspect that she would attempt to expropriate Paris’ legal right as Pedro’s heir. We have seen similar cases before in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia, where there is an attempt to exclude children of Westerners from their rightful inheritance when those Westerners have married a woman from the region and subsequently died. In this case, Ms Al Hammadi acted almost immediately after Pedro’s sudden death, and took radical measures to ensure his daughter would be denied her rights.”

Laleh is now facing another court battle in the UAE to contest Al Hammadi’s claim as sole heir.“She made every effort to isolate Pedro from our daughter during his life”, Laleh said, “Now she is trying to exclude her after his death; it is beyond sad.”

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