It can be hard out here for a marginalized international traveler who learns there are so many counties outside of the U.S. that are just as unjust, if not much more.
For the past two months, Houston, Texas, native Tierra Young Allen has been detained in Dubai, and, according to her mother, the heinous and egregious crime she’s been charged with is simply—shouting at someone who shouted at her.
According to Fox 26, Allen is a truck driver and social media influencer who was arrested in May after allegedly getting into a shouting match with a car rental employee in Dubai, which, apparently, is not a city where it’s socially or legally acceptable for a woman to raise her voice. So, now the 29-year-old is stuck in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) having had her passport confiscated over the incident. And, according to her mother, that’s the least of Allen’s concerns.
“It also could result in prison time. So it’s very scary,” explained Allen’s mom Tina Baxter to Fox 26.
The matriarch explained that Tierra was a passenger in a friend’s rental car, and they got into an accident there in Dubai. When she later went to retrieve her ID, credit card and other items left in the rental car, that’s when things escalated.
“She found out she could only receive those items if she paid an undisclosed amount of money,” she told the publication. “She dealt with a very aggressive individual, a young man there who was screaming at her.”
The 29-year-old screaming back apparently resulted in her arrest, explained Community Activist Quanell X.
“She is in jail for one reason and one reason alone, she raised her voice. In that country, a female is not even allowed to raise her voice. If she raises her voice it’s punishable by jail time.”
We all remember the horror WNBA star Brittney Griner suffered when she was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison over a minuscule amount of hashish oil found in vape cartridges in her luggage. We remember how it took months of calls to action by fellow WNBA athletes, community members, celebrities and family members, as well as a prisoner swap with a notorious Russian arms dealer, to set Griner free.
That ordeal should give anyone a clear idea of how terrifying this is for Allen and her family.
According to Fox 26 Allen does have an attorney in Dubai, but she has been told she could be facing jail time because she was caught on surveillance camera—*sigh*—screaming.
Is there anywhere in this world where true justice exists? Is there anywhere that is safe for Black people, especially Black women?
Hopefully, Allen will make it home safely. Until then, we have to be as vigilant in demanding her freedom and return to the states as we were with BG.