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Tunisian rapper jailed for anti-police song

By Sara Yasin / 24 June, 2013

Tunisian rapper Alaa Yacoub has been sent two prison for two years for an anti-police song. Sara Yasin reports

The rapper, who performs under the name Weld 15, has been accused of threatening police officers with a song he posted online called Boulicia Kleb (the police are dogs).

Yacoub was in hiding when he was initially sentenced to two years in prison in March. The rapper came out of hiding for his one-day retrial earlier this month in Tunis, in the hopes that he would receive a more relaxed sentence for turning himself in, according to the BBC.

In the video, Yacoub sings that “he would like to slaughter a police officer instead of sheep at Eid al-Adha”. In response to accusations that he was “inciting violence against the police”, Yacoub told Nawaat in March that he was “subject to all forms of police violence: physical and verbal. As an artist, I can only answer them through my art: aggressive art.”

The charges brought against Yacoub were brought under “anti-free speech laws inherited from the dictatorship era”, according to Index contributor Afef Abrougi. Anyone violating Article 128 of Tunisia’s Penal Code could face up to two years in prison for “accusing without proof a public official.”

 

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