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Home > Country focus > Tunisia > Two Rappers Appear in Court for Protests

Two Rappers Appear in Court for Protests

Tuesday 8 October 2013, by Tunisia Live

Two rappers appeared in court Monday on charges that they insulted public officials and affronted public morals related to protests in June, the latest in a series of legal actions against artists.

A court in Ben Arous decided Monday to delay their trial in response to a request by the defendants’ lawyer.

Aymen Feki and Mustapha Fakhfakh, known respectively by their stage names “Men-Ay” and “Mister Mustapha,” along with French-Tunisian journalist Hend Meddeb, are accused of “insulting public officials in the performance of their duties” and “affronting public morals.”

They face up to one and a half years in prison.

The trio’s lawyer, Ghazi Mrabet, wants all three tried together, but said Meddeb was not summoned by the court and did not appear. Meddeb is not in Tunisia now, but will attend the next hearing, scheduled for November 25, according to Mrabet.

In an interview with AFP, Mrabet said that “his clients are being prosecuted for expressing a sentiment of injustice after the sentencing of their comrade.”

“The judiciary is seeking to silence artists and youth,” he said in the same interview, citing a number of recent prosecutions of performers.

The charges stem from an incident in June when the three participated in a protest in support of Aladdine Yaacoubi, a rapper known as Weld el 15.

On June 13, Yaacoubi was sentenced to two years in jail for an anti-police song called Bouliciya Kleb “Cops are Dogs.” After sentencing, Yaacoubi’s supporters protested outside the court.

Participants in the protest criticized the police and the judiciary, and there were confrontations between police and protesters.

Weld el 15 was freed on appeal after his June sentencing, but was convicted again in August in connection to another performance in Hammamet with rapper Ahmed Ben Yahmed, Klay BBJ, who is serving a reduced six month sentence. Weld el 15 is still on the run.

SOURCE: http://www.tunisia-live.net/2013/10/08/two-rappers-appear-in-court-for-protests/

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