A U.S citizen and former Minnesota resident has been in jail in Dubai since April 2013 for a video he made last year about poking fun at a group of suburban would-be tough guys.
KARE-TV reported that 29-year-old Shezanne Cassim was accused by authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)of threatening national security and breaking federal cyber crime laws for participating in the making of “Ultimate Combat System: The Deadly Satwa Gs,” a 20-minute short film that begins with an explicit acknowledgement that it is fiction.
According to CNN, Cassim moved to the UAE from Minnesota in 2006 to work for the Dubai office of PriceWaterhouseCoopers. His family has stated that the law was passed after the “Satwa” video was posted online in October 2012, and that officials have not told them how it threatens “public order.”
“It’s like somebody in the United States making a parody video of a Brooklyn hipster, and being held in jail for it and being held in jail for months without bail,” his brother, Shervon Cassim, told KARE. “That’s what’s going on here.”
The video shows Shezanne Cassim, as “MaximumWasta,” visiting Satwa, an affluent Dubai neighborhood, to learn about the budding vigilantes group’s “fighting techniques,” like throwing shoes or wielding belts.
Cassim’s next court hearing is scheduled for Dec. 16. A U.S. State Department spokesperson told KARE that members of the country’s embassy in Abu Dhabi and Consulate General office in Dubai have attended his hearings and visited with him regularly.
Watch CNN’s report on Cassim’s imprisonment, aired on Friday, below.
And you can see “Ultimate Combat System: The Deadly Satwa Gs,” originally posted in October 2012, below.
Ben Stein: Black people have a ‘very deep attachment’ to feeling like ‘they’ve been victimized’
On Monday's edition of Fox Business' "Trish Regan Primetime," conservative writer and actor Ben Stein complained about how African-Americans refuse to be grateful for what President Donald Trump is doing for them because they have an "attachment" to feeling like "they've been victimized."
"Let me ask you, though, Ben, in this environment, we're now looking at the lowest unemployment rate for black Americans in the history of the United States of America under none other than President Trump," said Regan. "Is any of that loyalty starting to shift? I mean, are traditional black Democrats saying, hey, maybe the Democratic Party has failed me? Maybe I need to rethink this?"
‘I don’t have to do it, legally’: Trump says he can invade Iran without Congress’ permission
On Monday, CNN reported that in a new interview, President Donald Trump said that he can invade Iran without congressional approval — and that although he would "like the idea" of keeping Congress in the loop, he doesn't "legally" have to do so.
"I like the idea of keeping Congress abreast, but I wouldn't have to do that," said Trump. In response to the fact that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said he must obtain congressional approval first, Trump said, "I disagree. I think most people seem to disagree."
"I do like keeping them — they are intelligent people," added Trump. "They will come up with some thoughts. I actually learned a couple of things the other day when we had our meeting with Congress which I think were helpful to me. I do like keeping them abreast, but I don't have to do it, legally."
US foes are goading Trump because they know he’s a ‘blow-hard and full of bluster’: CNN analyst
President Donald Trump walked back from the brink of atrocities last week, from calling off a military strike against Iran to pushing back planned Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids in major American cities.
On Monday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin told anchor Wolf Blitzer how foreign adversaries have been emboldened to challenge Trump — because for all his bombast, they know they are calling a bluff.
"I think Donald Trump is pretty well a known quantity at this point," said Toobin. "I mean, I think people around the world know he's a blowhard, knows he's full of bluster. But that's no reason to get into a war."