A rapper has been sentenced to a minimum of three months in prison after releasing a violent music video in the UAE. The singer, known as Dangour, was arrested in June. In the footage, Dangour raps about drug abuse and his hatred of white people. A clip went viral on messaging service BBM, and several people complained to the police. The court ruled that the rapper created the video to make people scared of him and issued the “light sentence”. They added that it “harmed public decency and order and spread terror and panic among people”.
A Moroccan rapper and activist was arrested by security forces last week, following claims that one of his songs is offensive to a public institution. Megaz El Haked was summoned to a court on the charge of offending a public authority. Lyrics in in one of his songs criticising the political situation in Morocco were deemed to be defamatory. The rapper and activist has been refused provisional release whilst he awaits his trial, which is expected to take place on 4 April. El Haked was imprisoned last year for four months on trumped-up charges, before being released in January 2012.
The sentencing of two young rappers for posting a threatening song on YouTube sets a dangerous precedent, says Brendan O’Neill