Student who touched airport security guard's arm in Dubai sentenced to one year in prison
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Featured Image Credit: Detained in Dubai
A New York college student faces one year in prison after allegedly 'assaulting and insulting' a Dubai airport security guard by touching their arm.
However, Los Santos never made it home, detained by United Arab Emirates authorities for allegedly 'assaulting and insulting' an member of the airport's security team.
Los Santos has been detained in Dubai for three months since she landed for her flight connection - the connection meant to take just 'six hours'.
The student at Lehman College in the Bronx wasn't even meant to be transiting through Dubai in the first place, her and a friend initially set to get their connecting flight in Paris.
However, because of what 'a more modern and futuristic city' Dubai is, they changed their flight.
When Los Santos and her friend landed in Dubai, she was asked to remove her waist brace - needed as a result of her recently undergoing surgery - when going through security.
Los Santos was shown to a private booth when female staff members allegedly 'roughly' removed the compressor, hurting her while also laughing at her when she struggled to put it back on, the student's mom told Detained in Dubai.
With the security guards allegedly failing to help her put the support back on, Los Santos said she called out to her friend, leaning past a security guard in the way and in doing so, she 'gently touched [the security guard's arm] to guide her out of the way'.
The security guard whose arm Los Santos touched later filed a complaint against the 21-year-old, which led to the student being detained and allegedly told she could only leave if she signed a form which was written solely in Arabic.
After several hours, Los Santos and her friend were able to leave, but when they returned for their flight, they discovered Los Santos had a travel ban filed against her.
According to Detained in Dubai, Los Santos was told yesterday (Monday, 2 October) 'she has a one year prison sentence but that if all 'goes well', she will only be detained until she can 'book a flight out of the UAE'.
Detained in Dubai's founder, Radha Stirling, said in a statement on its website yesterday: "On top of being humiliated and traumatised 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. Is this the kind of transport hub that people would want to choose? She’s not the only US citizen who has fallen foul of the country’s backwards justice system.
"[...] Elizabeth is extremely worried that she will be detained in the notorious Al Awir prison and won’t (as promised) be allowed to leave the country. Even if she is allowed to be deported tomorrow, she will remain in prison until then, not knowing whether there will be further delays or whether in fact, she will end up forced to serve the whole sentence. This is an extreme situation for a 21 year old to go through."