Cousins! A College student’s vacation has turned into an unforgettable experience, as she’s been placed behind United Arab Emirates bars for allegedly insulting and physically assaulting an airport security guard over the summer in Dubai!
According to reports from the New York Post, 21-year-old Elizabeth Polanco De Los Santos had been heading home to New York on July 14th alongside a friend as they concluded their vacation in Istanbul.
It has been stated that their original itinerary had them scheduled to connect home by traveling through Paris. However, they switched flights to transfer through Dubai within a 10 hour layover so they could experience the beloved city.
“We thought it would be a more modern and futuristic city but we were completely wrong,” Elizabeth said, according to Detained in Dubai.
As the two friends attempted to make their way through security, a Dubai security guard requested that Elizabeth remove a waste trainer compressor garment she had been wearing following a recent surgery.
It has been indicated that Elizabeth was taken to a private room where female staff members assisted in helping her remove the garment. Elizabeth’s mother has come forward to say that the airport employees were extremely rough and caused damage to her still-healing surgery scars.
Elizabeth says that her daughter was humiliated as they laughed at her and refused to assist her with putting the compressor back on.
“I was feeling uncomfortable and afraid. I felt really violated.”
With tears in her eyes, Elizabeth is said to have leaned past a woman security guard who was blocking her way as she asked for her friend to assist her.
“I gently touched her arm to guide her out of the way, then desperately started crying to my friend for help,” she said to Detained in Dubai.
The Lehman College student was then detained in another room for hours as the security guard she touched filed an official complaint against her. Sources state that Elizabeth wasn’t allowed to leave until she signed a form completely written in Arabic.
The New York Post reports that as Elizabeth returned back to the airport to catch her flight back home she was notified that a travel ban had been placed against her. She was forced to remain in the country until the charges brought against her were reviewed in court.
“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.”
Following costly stays at hotels for weeks at a time, Elizabeth was ordered to pay $2,700 to a judge in hopes of finally going home. Unfortunately Dubai prosecutors appealed the ruling and she was sentenced on Monday October 2nd to one year in prison.
“She is under the most incredible stress which is impacting her physical and mental health, disrupting her entire life and scarring her long-term,” said Detained in Dubai founder Radha Stirling.. “This is simply no way to treat visitors. It’s outrageous.”
The U.S State Department has not publicly addressed Elizabeth’s sentencing reports the Post. In a statement to Newsweek on Sunday they’ve said they aware of the detainment of a U.S citizen in Dubai.
Please stick with us for further updates surrounding Elizabeth’s sentencing.