A social media influencer and truck driver from Texas has been stuck in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (The U.A.E.) for over two months after being arrested for allegedly screaming in public.
Tierra Young Allen, a 29-year-old from Houston, could now face prison time, according to her mother, Tina Baxter, who spoke to local news station FOX 26.
“It’s very scary,” says Baxter, who shared that the trip turned terrifying for her daughter when she was a passenger in a friend’s rental car, and they got into an accident in Dubai.
Baxter said things did not go smoothly when her daughter went to the rental car company to retrieve her I.D., credit card, and other items left in the rental.
“She found out she could only receive those items if she paid an undisclosed amount of money. She dealt with a very aggressive individual, a young man there who was screaming at her,” Baxter adds. She says her daughter ultimately yelled back, resulting in her being charged with “the crime” of screaming. The argument was captured on a surveillance camera, and that footage is likely to be used as evidence.
“It’s been very emotional. There are some days I stay up all night crying,” Baxter told FOX 26 about her daughter’s detainment.
There are very different laws regarding public conduct in the U.A.E. than in the U.S. “Public decency and morality laws are much stricter throughout the U.A.E. than in the United States,” warns the Department of State and advises Americans before visiting the predominantly Muslim country that they should be aware of these differences.
After Allen’s arrest, her mother says her passport was taken, so she cannot leave the U.A.E. She also says her daughter has now been placed under a travel ban pending the outcome of the investigation.
The 29-year-old reportedly has an attorney in Dubai, and she’s been told she could be sentenced to prison time due to the surveillance video of her screaming.
“It’s very frightening. The longer she’s been there, the more reality has started to kick in,” Baxter says.