[QODLink]
Middle East

UAE trial of American postponed again

Shezzane Cassim was arrested on charges of endangering national security after uploading a parody video to YouTube.

Last updated: 16 Dec 2013 18:23
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Emirati authorities held US citizen Shezzane Cassim for five months before revealing charges against him [AP]

A court in the United Arab Emirates has adjourned the trial of an American jailed since April for making a YouTube video that mocks Dubai teenagers, his family said.

It was announced on Monday that the trial of 29-year-old Shezzane Cassim will resume on December 23.

"This is the sixth consecutive postponement of a final judgement," his family said in a statement.

Cassim has been in custody for eight months over charges of endangering the UAE's national security under a federal cyber crimes law.

"We were hoping that since the court finally got a translation of the video that the court would see the video is fictional, as it says on the initial screen shot," said Cassim's brother, Shervon, in the statement.

The 19-minute video, titled the "Satwa Comedy School," parodies teenagers who live in the Satwa district.

The video shows the teens wearing hip-hop clothes and listening to rap music when, in reality, they are known for their tame behaviour.

Maximum-security prison

In the mockumentary, Cassim and his friends learn the latest techniques of "Satwa G's combat" which include the correct way to throw a shoe at a newspaper and how to use a mobile phone to call for back-up when necessary.

Washington is "troubled by the prolonged incarceration" of Cassim, State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

The US State Department has also expressed concern over the UAE's cyber crime law and has raised Cassim's case with Emirate authorities.

Cassim has lived in the UAE since 2006 and works for Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC).

Authorities held Cassim for five months before notifying him of the charges against him. The other non-US nationals involved in the making of the video have also been jailed and charged.

Cassim is being held in a maximum-security prison located outside Abu Dhabi.

301

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.