American Fitness Guru Faces 7 Years In Jail For Posting A Story On Instagram

Image Source: YouTube

As the Internet became a large part of our lives, the need for monitoring, regulations, and laws quickly became enormous. Some countries tend to treat cybercrimes very seriously and the penalties are sometimes unbelievable. When you go to another country and you are on social media, be very careful about the content you post or share, because you may find yourself in a bad situation, just like the one you are about to read below.

One of the big names in the fitness industry is reportedly in trouble in Dubai. 44-year-old Jordan Branford, born in Eugene, Oregon, violated the extremely strict cybercrime laws in UAE and is currently facing a seven-year sentence or a $68,000 fine. The reason may seem insufficient enough for such harsh measures, but it is a fact – he simply wrote the word “b**ch” in a post on Instagram.

Image Source: Instagram

The problems for the fitness guru came after his wife Salma Ismail, originally from Egypt, reported him for using the word as she probably knew what kind of problems this would cause to Branford. The two are separated after their marriage started to fall apart about a year ago.

Branford’s post is written in a way that does not refer to a certain person by name; however, the simple use of the word in public or social media is considered as a big offense in UAE, where a lot of regulations come from the conservative ways that the nation goes by. The Instagram post is now deleted, but the harm has already been done.

Brandon is the founder of “The Body Challenge” and has been known in the fitness industry for 25 years. He moved to Dubai ten years ago and that is where he was arrested about the post. He is threatened by deportation and his passport will be taken from him by the authorities until he agrees to pay the fine or otherwise serve his sentence.

Image Source: Facebook

Branford has a child from his previous marriage – 17-year-old Jadan, who lives in Oregon. He may not have the chance to see him unless he reaches an agreement with the authorities and pays his fine.

According to the fitness guru, the breakup between him and Ismail happened after she started to behave in an unacceptable manner that nobody would tolerate. He says that all he did was work hard to build a solid foundation for his American Fitness brand, and meanwhile a lot of people came to him saying that his wife did things that nobody would consider normal for a married woman. He added that he grew up without a father figure and he and his mother had to struggle through life on their own. This is why he wants to provide as much as he could for his son Jadan.

Fresh coconuts puts a smile on my face 💚 #fresh #coconuts #saturday #vibes

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A post shared by Sal’s Body Routine (@salbroutine) on

Salma Ismail reportedly tried to sue Branford a few times, claiming to be owed hundreds of thousands of dollars, but so far she has not managed to get a dollar out of him. This is what provoked the fitness icon to post on Instagram using the word that got him this much trouble. In a video he uploaded, Branford says that he woke up just to find that the “b**ch” is about to sue him again. He added that he has spent roughly $230,000 so far on legal expenses.

Image Source: Facebook

Branford also stated that he was arrested and brought to the attention of the Court of First Instance in Dubai on 14thof March 2017, and he was treated aggressively during the arrest. He added that the story has been a burden for him for the past twenty months and that he has spent all his money on court fights, losing his business instead of providing for his son’s future. Branford claims he was really heartbroken after these events and even though he knew that some marriages do not end well, in his case he was nearly ruined by his estranged spouse.

Radha Stirling, the CEO of an organization called “Detained in Dubai”, made an official statement about Branford’s case.

The statement says that this was a common problem and that most people who enter Dubai are probably already in violation of some of the cybercrime laws in the country. The laws are so poorly written and enforced that a person may in danger of prosecution for a post that had been shared years before even coming to Dubai. Imagine that! Stirling also says that these laws enable anyone who wishes to harm you to do so by just reporting an old post on social media and from there on you would be treated as a criminal.

No matter that the complaint may seem completely trivial to many, it can result in an arrest, detention, heavy fines, a prison sentence or deportation.

Stirling’s conclusion is that Branford’s case is just another example of how the poor legislation is applied in abusive manner just because a discontented person wanted to get him in trouble.

H/T – Source

Written by Amanda Johnson

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