Wednesday, January 9, 2019

On This Date in Minnesota History: January 9

January 9, 2014 – Imprisoned for nine months in the United Arab Emirates over a YouTube video spoof of Dubai youth culture, Shezanne Cassim landed at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport today a free man. Born in Sri-Lanca, Cassim is a U.S. citizen from Woodbury who had been living and working in Dubai. After posting the video, he was brought in for questioning by the police and immediately jailed. Two months later, he was locked in the Abu Dhabi prison, as were several of his friends who appeared in the video.

Cassim’s family had contacted U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who worked closely with the State Department, “met with the U.S. Ambassador to the U.A.E. and worked directly with the Emirates Ambassador to the United States to advocate for Cassim’s return. Sen. Al Frankin, D-Minn., and U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., also joined the push.”

StarTribune; “Out of foreign jail, U grad appreciates his freedom”; January 10, 2014; pp. B1 and B6.

Shezanne Cassim


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