21-year-old college student from New York City, Elizabeth Polanco De Los Santos, attending Lehman College in the Bronx, has received a one-year prison sentence from the United Arab Emirates.
This sentence comes as a result of alleged “assaulting and insulting” actions toward an airport security guard during a flight connection in Dubai over the summer. Reports indicate that she had been effectively trapped in Dubai for nearly three months due to a travel ban imposed on her.
The advocacy group Detained in Dubai provided this information.
“Elizabeth only intended to transit through Dubai for six hours but she’s been there for months on end and has lost $50,000 in expenses and lawyers costs,” said Detained in Dubai founder Radha Stirling.
“On top of being humiliated and traumatized by airport staff, Elizabeth has suffered months of being forced to stay in an expensive country, pay expensive lawyers and miss out on her university studies.”
Los Santos’ adventure started on July 14, when she and her friend were on their way back to New York from a trip in Istanbul.
Their original flight schedule had them connecting in Paris, but they modified it to transfer in Dubai so they could see the famous city during a 10-hour layover.
“We thought it would be a more modern and futuristic city but we were completely wrong,” Los Santos said, according to Detained in Dubai.
Elizabeth Polanco De Los Santos, aged 21 and reportedly a student at Lehman College in the Bronx, remains in Dubai. She and her friend were on their way back from a vacation in Istanbul when she was detained.
During the security check, Dubai airport staff instructed Los Santos to remove a waist compressor, which she was required to wear following a recent surgery.
She was taken to a private booth where female staff members removed the compressor, but according to Los Santos’ mother, they were rough and caused pain to her daughter’s still-healing surgery scars.
Additionally, they mocked her, and when she requested assistance in putting the complex garment back on