American Gets Prison Sentence for Comedy Video
Verdict for Shezanne Cassim and friends not actually read
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Dec 23, 2013 12:07 PM CST
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(Newser) – The UAE is very bad at taking a joke. The state security court in Abu Dhabi today sentenced three men—including American citizen Shezanne Cassim—to a year in prison for a goofy video they put online last year. The video, titled "Satwa G" is a mockumentary poking fun at Dubai's suburban hip-hop culture. These supposed "gangsters" teach the filmmakers how to use such deadly weapons as shoes and belts. "It was just for fun," Cassim's brother tells CNN.

But the UAE has a draconian cybercrime law that makes damaging the country's reputation online a jail-worthy offense, Reuters explains; last year a man got two years in jail for tweeting about a political trial. The Telegraph adds that the law was passed a month after the video was uploaded. Cassim, a 29-year-old who moved from Minnesota to Dubai for a job with PriceWaterhouseCooper, has already been jailed for eight months awaiting trial. His two Indian co-defendants also got a year, while two Emirati cohorts got off with roughly time served.

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Showing 3 of 55 comments
Joe_American
Dec 23, 2013 10:06 PM CST
Bring American citizen Shezanne Cassim home. He should be home for Christmas and New Year's Eve. It is so sad that he is in jail at this time. The American government must bring the Americans home "by any means necessary".
Guest
Dec 23, 2013 9:43 PM CST
A draconian cybercrime law that makes damaging the country's reputation online a jail-worthy offense? HAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAA
Who_Cares
Dec 23, 2013 8:52 PM CST
I never had any desire to go out to visit any of the Muslim countries, especially after this. The only country I might see is our friends and allies in Israel.