Moroccan rapper charged for anti-cop song

2012-04-04 22:25

Rabat - A Moroccan court denied bail on Wednesday to a rapper charged with attacking the image of the security services in a song about police corruption.

Mouad Belghouat was arrested March 29 after Morocco's national security agency filed a suit against him, and he is now being tried for insulting state employees and official institutions, a charge that could lead to a prison sentence.

The rapper, also known as El-Haqed, or "the enraged", writes songs about corruption and social injustice and is involved in the pro-democracy February 20 movement.

He also has written songs attacking King Mohammed VI for his vast wealth and high ranking on the Forbes magazine lists.

The police accused Belghouat of posting a song on the Internet accompanied by photos insulting to police, including one showing an officer with the head of a donkey.

The judge denied a defence request for bail after the prosecutor argued that the rapper presented a risk to the public order. The case was adjourned until April 16.

Belghouat's lawyer said the montage accompanying the song was posted by someone else and the whole case is just a political attack on a well known activist.

"In the song, Mouad accuses certain policemen of corruption. This isn't a scoop. Everyone says so and international organisations confirm it," Larbi Chentoufi told The Associated Press. "El-Haqed is in front of the judges for his opinions."

It is the second time the rapper, who comes from a sprawling slum in Casablanca, Morocco's largest city, has tangled with authorities.

Belghouat was jailed for four months last year for getting into a fight with a regime supporter in the gritty, low-income suburb of Casablanca where he now lives. His supporters say the charges were trumped up.

He was released on Jan. 12 in a case that mobilized the country's activist community.

Morocco was swept with pro-democracy demonstrations like many other countries in the Middle East last year, but the king managed to defuse popular anger with a series of reforms.

Belghouat has continued his activist work in poor neighborhoods. The song he is charged for, called Dogs of the State, is addressed to the police.

"You are paid to protect the citizens, not to steal their money," says one lyric. "Did your commander order you to take money from the poor?" says another.

The song asks the police to arrest the wealthy businessmen who have divided the country up for themselves.

Morocco, a popular tourist destination for Europeans, has one of the highest discrepancies between rich and poor in the Arab world, according to international development agencies.

- AP
Read more on:    morocco  |  north africa
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

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!
This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!
This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy 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

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...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.