Cousins! We are pleased to announce that a 21-year-old woman previously detained in Dubai upon claims of assaulting and insulting an airport employee in Dubai, has officially been freed!
As we previously reported Lehman College student Elizabeth Polanco De Los Santos had been placed on a no fly list since July following an incident that occurred at Dubai International Airport customs where she was accused of attacking a security guard.
According to ABC News, Elizabeth has since been commuted and boarded a flight back to New York late Tuesday evening.
Pix 11 news report Activists that assisted in Elizabeth’s return back home said that her story is tragically common as further details are revealed.
“It’s just out of a nightmare, out of a movie, and what she experienced is unimaginable. I don’t think they can put themselves in their shoes and imagine how frightened they would be,” said Detained in Dubai CEO Radha Stirling.
The young woman’s original plans of visiting the beloved city within a layover turned into a series of months.
Elizabeth had been traveling alongside a friend from Istanbul as 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.
“Elizabeth was only supposed to be there for six hours in transit on the way back from Istanbul. So it’s quite extreme she wound up there for [several] months. Lost $50,000 and actually faced imprisonment.”
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.
“I was feeling uncomfortable and afraid. I felt really violated,” said Elizabeth.
Radha warns against traveling to Dubai as she also explains that instances like these are schemes for extortion against foreigners.
“In many instances, it’s actually an extortion scheme where people make complaints against foreign nationals, and they expect the lawyer to come forward and offer them a high compensation payment in order to drop that case,” added Radha.
She says that Elizabeth is relieved to be back home with her family.