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State Department staff members followed Cassim’s case closely, and Michael Corbin, the U.S. ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, pledged to U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar that he would make the case his “highest priority.”
Staff at the U.S. Embassy of the United Arab Emirates did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Cassim worked as a business consultant in the country and began a job with PricewaterhouseCoopers just weeks before he was jailed.
Klobuchar, U.S. Sen. Al Franken and U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum expressed relief at Cassim’s release.
The three had lobbied State Department officials behind the scenes, trying to secure Cassim’s freedom before his family, weary of navigating diplomatic channels, went public with the case.
Klobuchar pressed Secretary of State John Kerry, her former Senate colleague, to help.
Authorities previously released two Emiratis and deported an Indian citizen who were jailed with Cassim.
“Jailing this young man for months for posting a harmless video made absolutely no sense, especially in a country that prides itself on being a tolerant and just nation,” Klobuchar said. “Shezanne’s family never gave up on this fight, and having their son home safe is the best start to 2014 I can imagine.”
Corey Mitchell is a correspondent in the Star Tribune Washington Bureau. Twitter: @C_C_Mitchell
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