A Florida man was arrested in the United Arab Emirates over what he posted about his job on Facebook while he was home in the United States.

Ryan Pate took to Facebook to air his frustrations after getting in a dispute over sick leave with the company in December. 

The helicopter mechanic was home for the holidays when he posted that his bosses were "back stabbers" and warned others not to work for them.

But when he returned to Abu Dhabi in January, he was arrested for breaking an Emirates law on slandering his employer.

Pate was in jail for about 10 days and is now free on bail awaiting a trial on March 17. He faces up to five years in prison and a hefty fine if convicted.

The Associated Press reported:

Pate's congressman, Rep. David Jolly, intervened on his constituent's behalf, lobbying the State Department and Emirates officials for help. In a letter to the Emirati attorney general, Jolly emphasized respect for the sovereignty of the country, but argued because the posts occurred while Pate was on American soil, those laws shouldn't apply.

"It is deeply troubling that Mr. Pate now faces judicial proceedings over an action that was done legally in his home country," the Republican said.

The Emirati Embassy in Washington said it did not have much information about the case and couldn't comment. An after-hours email to the company, Global Aerospace Logistics, did not get an immediate reply. A State Department spokeswoman, Marie Harf, said a consular officer had visited Pate in prison and that the embassy in Abu Dhabi would continue providing assistance.


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