Tunisian bad boys get knuckles 'rapped' for anti-police tune

Published March 13th, 2013 - 08:18 GMT
Tunisians are fighting for the right to rap  (File Photo)
Tunisians are fighting for the right to rap (File Photo)

Tunisian authorities have detained two people and charged them with insulting security forces in a rap video uploaded to the Internet, the interior ministry said on Tuesday.

"The rap video posted on YouTube called 'Boulicia Kleb' (The Police are Dogs) has words and gestures that are unethical, abusive and threatening towards security forces and magistrates," the ministry said.

"A police investigation identified those who made and released the video... there are eight of them. On Sunday, March 10, two of them, a young man and a girl, were arrested," the ministry added.

The Ben Arous court in Tunis authorized their detention, the ministry said.

Media outlets reported that the two were a cameraman and an actress seen in the clip, adding that the rapper, Weld El 15, was being sought.

Interior ministry spokesman Riahi Adel said the two were arrested for slander and rebelling against officials, and that they could face up to five years in prison.

In the video Weld El 15 is heard saying “I will slit the throat of policemen like sheep,” and “give me a gun, I'll shoot them."In an interview with Tunisian blog Nawaat, Weld El 15 took full responsibility for the video, saying the two people arrested had nothing to do with the content of the song.

“I wasn’t calling for violence against the police, [I was] just expressing my point of view,” he said. “The current injustice in the country is what inspired this song.”

Police arrested Weld El 15 and two other rappers in February 2012 over drug charges. But their supporters accused the police of targeting them for their efforts to legalize hashish.

The rapper said he received death threats and was physically abused by police officers in the past.

“All I want is for security forces to respect the people,” he told Nawaat.

Tunisian artists regularly denounce police and accuse the Islamist government led by the al-Nahda party of curbing freedom of expression.

Tell us what you think! Should they have been arrested? What does this mean for Tunisia? Let us know! 

 

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