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Innocence of Muslims maker gets 1 yr jail

Posted on Nov 08, 02:06PM | IBNS

The maker of Innocence of Muslims, the anti-Islam film that sparked protests across the globe, was sent to jail for a year on Wednesday by a court here after he admitted to violating the terms of his release from an earlier conviction here, said reports.

Mark Basseley Youssef, 55, admitted to four violations, including lying to his probation officer and using false names.

The filmmaker was arrested in September for eight probation violations. On Wednesday, he admitted to four, in return for the other four being set aside, set reports.

Prosecutors and the judge said the film's message was irrelevant to Youssef's current probation violation case and prison sentence.

"I'm not going to say much about the movie because he's not here because of the content of the movie," assistant US attorney Robert Dugdale said.

The current case is connected to a bank and credit card fraud. He was convicted in 2010 and had been later under "supervised release".

An actress who had starred in the film and claimed she was tricked into it said the sentence was too light for the man.

"I'm happy to see him behind bars, but I think he's getting off very easy. It's not enough. He needs to admit he dubbed our lines and put hateful words in our mouths. He needs to make sure that movie is taken down," Cindy Lee Garcia told the New York based Daily News .

Basseley, 55, is an Egyptian American who made the crude nearly 14-minute long film "Innocence of Muslims", that sparked protests across the world especially in the Muslim countries with one US diplomat succumbing in the violence in Libya.

The video clip went viral on YouTube though in countries like India, Google blocked it in its search engine.

The United Nations also slammed the film and urged for peace.

"The film is malicious and deliberately provocative and portrays a disgracefully distorted image of Muslims. I fully understand why people wish to protest strongly against it, and it is their right to do so peacefully," the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said.

In September, the United States Consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi came under attack owing to the film, leading to the death of the US ambassador to the country, Christopher Stevens and three other diplomats, and left other people injured.

Demonstrations against the film first erupted in Egypt when Islamist protesters scaled the US embassy walls in the capital, Cairo, and replaced the flag there with an Islamic one. The violence reportedly left more than 200 people injured.

Later demonstrators in Yemen stormed the US embassy compound, but were unable to break into the main building. The incident led to one death and injured 15 others.

Protests also took place in several countries including Pakistan, India, Sudan, Tunisia, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom.