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Home > Country focus > Tunisia > Updated: No Jail Time for Journalist and Rappers Accused of Insulting (...)

Updated: No Jail Time for Journalist and Rappers Accused of Insulting Police

Monday 25 November 2013, by Tunisia Live

A journalist and two rappers charged with assaulting the police and “attacking public morals” during a June protest in support of rapper Weld el 15 will not face jail time.

French-Tunisian journalist Hend Meddeb and rapper Aymen el-Fkih both received suspended four-month sentences, meaning they were found guilty but will not serve jail time, according to their lawyer Ghazi Mrabet. The charges against rapper Mustapha Fakhfakh were dropped.

The three appeared Monday in a Tunis courtroom to face the charges, related to a June protest against a two-year sentence handed to Weld el 15 for his music video “Boulicia Kleb,” meaning “Cops are Dogs.”

“Outrage broke outside the court of Ben Arous to protest the severe sentence of fellow rapper Weld El 15,” said Ghazi Mrabet, the defendants’ lawyer. “Many people, including lawyers, were highly upset and engaged in verbal confrontations with police officers.”

“Meddeb and the two rappers were charged of insulting public officials on duty and violating morals according to articles 125 and 226 of the criminal code,” Mrabet told Tunisia Live. “According to the initial police report, the defendants are accused of repeating the words ‘Bouliciya Kleb,’ the title of Yaakoubi’s anti-police song.”

The defendants’ first court hearing was to take place November 18 but was rescheduled since only the two rappers, Fkih and Fakhfakh, were summoned by the court. Meddeb was not summoned and did not appear in the initial hearing, but “flew from France on Sunday to appear in court” for the rescheduled hearing, according to Mrabet.

Mrabet told radio station Express FM that Meddeb was forced to sign a police report.

SOURCE: http://www.tunisia-live.net/2013/11/25/updated-no-jail-time-for-journalist-and-rappers-accused-of-insulting-police/

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