Morocco rapper gets 'integrity' prize

2013-01-06 18:16
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Casablanca - Moroccan rapper Mouad Belghouat, aka Al-Haqed (The Rancorous One), jailed in July for a year for defaming the police, was on Saturday awarded a prize for integrity by NGO Transparency Morocco.

"This prize is awarded for his honesty and the justice of his fight for an integrated and transparent society," said TM chief Mohammed Sadok, presenting the award to the singer's father.

Belghouat, 24, is considered to be a public face of the February 20 movement, born in 2011 during the Arab spring, which is demanding sweeping political reforms in Morocco.

He was first convicted in May last year over a song he wrote called Dogs of the State, which denounced police corruption and was deemed an affront to the entire police service.

During the trial, his defence team argued that the song was an artistic creation that should not draw punishment.

The main evidence against the rapper was a YouTube video containing a photo-montage of a policeman whose head had been replaced by that of a donkey.

According to Human Rights Watch, Belghouat denied any connection with the video other than that it was set to his song.

The New York-based HRW said the conviction "shows the gap between the strong free-expression language in Morocco’s 2011 constitution and the continuing intolerance for those who criticise state institutions."

More than 70 activists from the February 20 movement are now in prison or awaiting trial, according to the independent Moroccan Association for Human Rights.

Read more on:    morocco  |  north africa  |  music

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Meet instagram star, Pumpkin the racoon

With 300 000 followers and growing Pumpkin is winning over the internet!



The cats that cost R35 000
Miley Cyrus can’t get enough of her new puppy
13 guilty pets
Meet SA's top poacher-catcher

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Plant some seeds. Your innovative mind is on fire and your ingenious ideas may just be the seeds for future projects. You may more

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


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 network.


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.