On Monday American man Shezanne Cassim, along with four other men were sentenced by a UAE (United Arab Emirates) court to spend a year in prison over a video of Dubai teens. The American men had been held since April without being tried in court for jeopardizing the UAE law against cyber crimes. Cassim, a 29-year-old man from Minnesota was also charged 10,000 dirhams, which equates to $2,725 American dollars. The four other men involved are not Americans and they received similar sentences.
The group made 19 minute long video of Dubai teens from Satwa district of the city. The video is called the “Satwa Comedy School” portrays the group of teens as “tough gangsters” listening to hip-hop music and wearing baggy clothing, the teens are actually very mild in behavior.
In the spoof video, Cassim and his friends learn how to act like Satwa G’s who learn the correct way to throw a shoe at a newspaper, and how in extreme cases to use a mobile phone to call for back-up.
Cassim worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers and has been living in Dubai since 2006. He is being held in a maximum security prison outside of Abu Dhabi for his violation of the UAE’s laws on cyber crimes. The US State Department has been voicing its concerns about the basis on which Cassim was charged.