Elizabeth Polanco De Los Santos.Courtesy of Detained in Dubai

NYC College Student Freed After Sentenced To Year In Dubai Prison For Airport Incident

Elizabeth Polanco De Los Santos, a New York City college student, was freed on Oct. 3 after being forced to stay in Dubai since July. The co-ed was initially sentenced to spend a year in the local prison due to an airport incident, but has been allowed to return home, according to ABC News.

The 21-year-old was accused of “assaulting and insulting” a female customs agent while stopped at the Dubai International Airport for a layover. Detained in Dubai, a criminal justice organization that specializes in those facing legal issues in the United Arab Emirates, assisted the Lehman College student as she faced sentencing over the matter.

The advocacy group announced the news in a statement, sharing that De Los Santos was at risk of being detained at the city’s “notorious” prisons.

“Elizabeth was falsely accused of assaulting and insulting a customs official when she was stripped and humiliated upon entering the desert city during a transit stop,” shared the organization’s CEO Radha Stirling. “The leadership has spent billions on marketing a glamorous city to international audiences, relying wholly on the naivety of visitors and investors to bring in the dollars. At the same time, the leadership has done very little to make the venue safe for the very people they lure in.”

Amid her unforeseen detainment, the young woman was forced to pay $50,000 for her accommodations as she was further extorted by the legal authorities overseeing her case, per ABC News. While the American is “ecstatic” to return to U.S. soil, the trauma she endured remains.

Stirling took to social media to thank the U.S. Embassy and Congressman Ritchie Torres for their support in bringing Elizabeth home.


However, she is also urging the United States to warn its citizens about the threats of traveling to the country, due to this is a recurring issue.


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