Freed Moroccan rapper promises more

2012-01-12 21:21

kalahari.com

  • Morocco
    From the strait of Gibraltar to the snowy peaks of the Atlas Mountains and the windswept Sahara,... Now R300.00
    buy now

Rabat - A Moroccan rapper who has become one of the monarchy's boldest critics was freed on Thursday after serving four months for assault, a charge which his lawyers say was a ploy to muzzle the popular singer.

After his release from Casablanca's Oukacha prison, Mouad Belrhouat, known as El-Haqed or "The Sullen One", said he would continue singing rap to protest "against the contempt ordinary Moroccans endure at the hands of the state and politicians".

"I will continue to spread my message and denounce the massive corruption in our country," he told Reuters by phone.

His trial had been seen as a test of the Justice and Development Party's commitment to ensuring full independence for the judiciary. The moderate Islamists are leading a government for the first time - like their Tunisian counterparts - after winning elections in November.

The Arab world's oldest monarchy, seeking to preempt popular revolt, made the judiciary constitutionally independent last year. But the courts retain a reputation for taking cues from the authorities, notably in graft and Islamic militancy cases.

Earlier on Thursday, a court in Casablanca sentenced 24-year-old Belrouat to four months and three days in jail and fined him $57, sources in the court said.

Belrhouat was arrested in September after a brawl with a monarchist. Bail requests by his lawyers were rejected and the trial was adjourned six times.

Bittersweet

"It's a bittersweet victory for us," said activist Maria Karim, who has led the campaign for Belrhouat's release.

He has become the singing voice of the movement, inspired by Arab world uprisings, demanding a constitutional monarchy, an independent judiciary and a crackdown on corruption.

Morocco's main human rights group, AMDH, considers him to have been a prisoner of conscience.

His lyrics telling Moroccans to "wise up" have angered many monarchists. In one song he says the king spends so much time giving orders that he has little time to count his money in Switzerland.

Belrhouat has struck a chord with young Moroccans who are disenchanted with the lack of jobs and widespread corruption. One song Bite just as much as you can chew has had more than 600 000 hits on Youtube.

Read more on:    morocco  |  north africa  |  uprisings
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Beauty

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The virtual world can be very tempting to escape into but focus on also being present and keeping your feet anchored in reality....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.