In early June 2016, Central African Republic rapper Vey-Zo was beaten at a bar in the capital city of Bangui by army general Roman Guitizia, put into the trunk of a car and taken to an army base where he was further tortured, according to information posted by civil society organisation Arterial Network on 30 June 2016.
The rapper had just released his latest album on 4 June 2016, which the military has been critical of, accusing Vey-Zo of inciting public disorder. The rapper’s lyrics, like many of his contemporaries, focus on people’s daily lives and the social reality of corruption and abuse of power.
A group of fellow rappers and artists who witnessed the beating held a press conference on 16 June 2016 in Bangui to demand justice for the general’s actions, reported Central African Republic news source Kangbi-Ndara on 17 June 2016.
The group said Vey-Zo, real name Parfait Merveil Gonikara, was not intoxicated when the altercation happened and that military personnel in plainclothes attacked him and pushed him to the ground, causing the bottle he was holding to break. They, along with his family, plan on filing a formal complaint to the constitutional court.
Photo courtesy of Arterial Network
» Arterial Network – 30 June 2016:
Central Africa: Rapper Vey-Zo beaten and tortured by army general
» Kangbi-Ndara – 17 June 2016:
Vey-Zo: Central African rappers gathered demanding that justice be done