A rights group says an American man who posted a parody video about youth culture in Dubai is being held by authorities as the first foreigner arrested under tougher measures governing Internet use in the United Arab Emirates.
The charges against 29-year-old Shezanne Cassim of Woodbury, Minn., reflect the wider social media crackdowns by Gulf Arab authorities.
The London-based Emirates Center for Human Rights says the Sri Lankan-born Cassim was arrested in April after posting a video poking fun at how many youth in the region are awed by social media’s power. It says Cassim was charged under a 2012 cybercrimes law boosting penalties for posts allegedly challenging authorities.
The U.S. Embassy had no comment.
Family spokeswoman Jennifer Gore said that Cassim’s relatives decided Wednesday to make the case public.