Wednesday, June 28

Rapper held for song against police

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RABAT: A young Moroccan rapper who has emerged as one of the monarchy’s most outspoken critics was arrested in Casablanca on Friday for a song denouncing police, a judicial official said. “Mouad Belghouat was arrested and presented to the prosecutor, who will decide his fate,” police told AFP.

Belghouat, a member of the February 20 protest movement, who has previously served jail time, was arrested when he and a group of friends demonstrated “violently” outside a police station, said the same source.“These individuals tried to forcefully enter the police station and to use violence against civil servants.” The 24-year-old, nicknamed “Al-Haqed” (the Vengeful One, in Arabic), served four months in a Casablanca prison for assault but was acquitted of another charge and released in January.The Arab Spring protests that last year felled Tunisia’s dictator Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Libya’s Moamer Kadhafi also inspired an unprecedented protest movement in Morocco.King Mohamed VI offered significant reforms curbing his near absolute powers in a bid to preempt full contagion and called early polls that brought in a moderate Islamist party.

Agence France-Presse

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