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Jesus Malverde

(10,274 posts)
Mon Dec 23, 2013, 04:25 PM Dec 2013

American jailed in UAE for YouTube parody video

Last edited Mon Dec 23, 2013, 05:10 PM - Edit history (1)

Source: Reuters

An American citizen was sentenced to a year in prison in the United Arab Emirates on Monday for posting a parody video on YouTube which pokes fun at young Emirati men who imitate U.S. hip-hop culture, his family said.

Shezanne Cassim, 29, has been detained in the United Arab Emirates since April after publishing the 20-minute "mockumentary" film.

In the video, which opens with a disclaimer stating it is fictional and does not intend to offend the people of the UAE, Emirati men described as "deadly gangsters" can be seen practicing throwing sandals and wielding an agal, the cord used to keep in place traditional headscarves.

Cassim, an aviation business consultant, was charged with violating the Gulf nation's cyber crime law which makes acts deemed damaging to the country's reputation or national security punishable by jail time and heavy fines.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/23/us-emirates-youtube-parody-idUSBRE9BM0M220131223


7 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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American jailed in UAE for YouTube parody video (Original Post) Jesus Malverde Dec 2013 OP
Interview with his brother of "Shez" Cassim Jesus Malverde Dec 2013 #1
UAE has laws and too bad for those who broke them. cosmicone Dec 2013 #2
I said the same thing christx30 Dec 2013 #4
"The martial arts documentary." Jesus Malverde Dec 2013 #3
I think the UAE needs to grow some thicker skin of a silly lame video like that penultimate Dec 2013 #5
UAE court convicts eight over 'spoof documentary video' Eugene Dec 2013 #6
Total BS conviction... there was worse satire in some of the 'Freej' episodes JCMach1 Dec 2013 #7


(11,014 posts)
2. UAE has laws and too bad for those who broke them.
Mon Dec 23, 2013, 04:59 PM
Dec 2013

I'm sure the "law is the law" and the everyone-should-be-arrested-strip-and-cavity-searched-crowd on DU will support me.


(6,241 posts)
4. I said the same thing
Mon Dec 23, 2013, 05:25 PM
Dec 2013

during the protests for women drivers in Saudi Arabia. The law is the law. If they break the law, they deserve arrest. No matter how wrong or cruel or misguided or terrible the law is, people don't have the right to question or violate it.

Jesus Malverde

(10,274 posts)
3. "The martial arts documentary."
Mon Dec 23, 2013, 05:09 PM
Dec 2013

The video was undeniably silly: a 20-minute mockumentary about a fictional martial arts school in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, where grandmaster Saloom Snake trains combatants to throw sandals, strike with the thin ropes of an Arab headdress and summon help on Twitter for fights that never actually occur.

But the authorities in the United Arab Emirates were not amused. In April, the police arrested five men who participated in the video, including an American citizen, Shezanne Cassim, 29, and threw them in jail, where they have been awaiting trial for eight months on charges of threatening national security.

The case has worried American officials and baffled the defendants’ families, who say the video merely pokes fun at Emirati youth who imitate foreign films and rap videos. But the men have faced a legal process set up for grave crimes.

Rights groups say the case is only the most recent example of the extreme sensitivity of Persian Gulf monarchies to the power of social media as a forum for critical — and uncontrollable — social and political discourse. Satire, especially of the political variety spread on social media, is treated as subversive. A number of Persian Gulf countries have laws against so-called cybercrimes, and in recent years a string of people have been jailed for content posted online.



(1,110 posts)
5. I think the UAE needs to grow some thicker skin of a silly lame video like that
Mon Dec 23, 2013, 07:43 PM
Dec 2013

makes them feel the urge to throw the film makers in jail. I don't even get how that's insult toward the country a whole..


(62,186 posts)
6. UAE court convicts eight over 'spoof documentary video'
Mon Dec 23, 2013, 07:49 PM
Dec 2013

Source: BBC

23 December 2013 Last updated at 14:13 GMT

UAE court convicts eight over 'spoof documentary video'

Six foreigners and two UAE citizens have been sentenced to up to a year in jail for making what they say is a spoof video about Dubai youth culture.

A state security court found them guilty of "defaming the UAE society's image abroad", according to the state-owned newspaper, The National.

The family of American Shezanne Cassim, confirmed he was one of the six jailed for a year, three of them in absentia.

The foreigners were the first to be charged under a 2012 cybercrimes law.

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Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25495256


(27,693 posts)
7. Total BS conviction... there was worse satire in some of the 'Freej' episodes
Mon Dec 23, 2013, 07:56 PM
Dec 2013

that aired (and here is the key difference) before the Arab Spring...

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