American Jailed Over Goofy Video to Be Freed: Report

Shezanne Cassim will be deported from UAE
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2014 2:31 PM CST
Shezanne Cassim of Woodbury, Minn., is seen in this undated photo from his family.   (AP Photo/Courtesy Shervon Cassim, File)

(Newser) – The United Arab Emirates plans to release jailed American consultant (and amateur sketch comic) Shezanne Cassim this week. Cassim has already been moved from a federal prison to a desert deportation center near Abu Dhabi, the Guardian reports. A family spokesperson tells CNN that he should head back to the US on Thursday. "His family is ecstatic," says a US lawyer who has been working with them.

Cassim and two other men were sentenced to a year in prison, a $2,700 fine, and deportation for creating a video making fun of wannabe gangsters in Dubai's suburbs. The lawyer said it was "terrible" that he'd still be deported "for posting a comedy video." UAE has so far not responded to reports of Cassim's impending release, though officials have been slow to respond to information about the case generally. (Read more Shezanne Cassim stories.)

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