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Woodbury man who made spoof video to be released from UAE jail

WASHINGTON, D.C. [1/07/14]—Today, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said he is very pleased that the case of Shezanne Cassim has been resolved and that he is expected to be returned to his family in Minnesota in the coming days. Shezanne, a University of Minnesota graduate, has been jailed in Abu Dhabi for nine months.

Last May, the Cassim family reached out to Sen. Franken to help resolve the case. Since then, his office has been in constant contact with both the family and the State Department offices in Washington, D.C. and Abu Dhabi. 

In July, Sen. Franken wrote a letter to the United Arab Emirates’ Ambassador to the U.S. pressing for a swift resolution to the case. And last Friday, his office spoke with State Department representatives to urge for Shezanne’s release.

“I’m thrilled that Shezanne is finally coming home to his family in Minnesota,” said Sen. Franken.“When the Cassims reached out to me several months ago about this terrible situation, I directed my office to immediately begin working to help resolve the case as quickly as possible. Since then, I’ve been in continuous contact with the State Department offices in D.C. and in Abu Dhabi and pressed the United Arab Emirates’ Ambassador to the United States for a swift resolution. I’m relieved that Shezanne’s ordeal is over, and was pleased to help press for his release over the past several months.