December 23rd, 2013
10:08 AM ET

Mother: 'Please Send Him Home'

Shezanne Cassim, the American jailed in the United Arab Emirates after posting a video parody, was sentenced Monday to one year in prison and a fine of 10,000 UAE dirhams (approximately $2,700). CNN's Sara Sidner reports.

The young American living in the United Arab Emirates has been imprisoned since April, his family says, for posting what was intended to be a funny video on the Internet.

His brother, sister and mother spoke to Kate Bolduan on "New Day" Tuesday and expressed their regret that he wouldn't be home in time for the Christmas holiday.

Jean Cassim, Shezanne's mother, speaking out for the first time since the sentencing, had a message for officials in the UAE:  "Please just understand what has happened, try to understand that he did not mean any harm. Please send him home."

The video in question is a 19-minute short that pokes fun at a clique of Dubai teens who are influenced by hip-hop culture. In the 1990s, the label "Satwa G" was coined for a group of suburban teens who were known to talk tougher than they really were.

The video depicts a look at a "combat school" in the suburb of Satwa, where these "gangsters" are trained. The training includes how to throw sandals at targets, using clothing accessories as whips, and how to call on the phone for backup.

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