Tags: american | jailed | abu | dhabi | youtube

American Man Jailed in Abu Dhabi for Making Funny YouTube

Thursday, 28 Nov 2013 01:54 PM

By Courtney Coren

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A Minnesota man is in prison in Abu Dhabi for making a video mocking young people who live in Dubai, and his family is working to try to get him out.

Shezanne Cassim, 29, and four others who appear in the video he uploaded to YouTube in October 2012, were put in prison in April for violating cybercrimes law and for posing a national security threat, the United Arab Emirates say, CBS Minnesota reported.

Cassim has been living and working in Dubai for seven years as a business consultant.

He and his friends made a spoof showing young men in Dubai going to a fake camp where they learn how to strike people with belts and throw shoes.

The video was a parody of "a certain cultural stereotype about the youth in Dubai," Cassim's brother explained. "It's just teenagers living in a suburb called Satwa who try to act like they are tough guys, even though they are suburban teenagers. And it's like making fun of hipsters in Brooklyn."

Cassim's family members have all visited him at the maximum security prison in Abu Dhabi where he was transferred to in June, and they say no date has been given as to when he will get out. He has been denied bail three times by a judge and no ruling or a sentencing date has been issued.

"Part of the frustration is that he is essentially in there indefinitely, with no end in sight," said Shervon Cassim, brother of the detained man. "He doesn't understand what they think he's done wrong."

Some of Minnesota's congressional delegates have tried to help, but have yet to make any headway.


Video from CBS Minnesota:



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