Tunisia: Rapper allegedly arrested and released

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Tunisia:


Rapper allegedly arrested and released

Freemuse has sent a letter to the Tunisian Ministry of Culture requesting information about the reported arrest of the Tunisian rapper Hamada Ben-Amor, also known as El General.

According to several news media the 21-year-old rapper was arrested on Thursday 6 January 2011 in Sfax for releasing a song critical of government policies. According to the tv news channel Al Jazeera the rapper was released on Sunday 11 January 2011.

Hamada Ben-Amor – known by his fans as ‘The General’ – was arrested after posting a song on the Internet entitled ‘Rais le Bled’ (rap slang for ‘President, Your Country’) that talks about the problems of the youth and unemployment.

The song came out as students, professionals and youths mounted a series of protests over a shortage of jobs and restrictions on public freedoms.

The protests have grown into the most widespread and violent flare-up of dissent of Ben Ali’s 23-year rule.

Zine al Abidine Ben Ali, the Tunisian president, has said the violent protests are unacceptable and could harm the country’s interests by discouraging investors and tourists who provide a large part of the country’s revenues.

Tunisia, known for its extreme repressive policies towards oppositional voices, has faced large protests in the past week.

A brother of the rapper told Reuters:
“Some 30 plainclothes policemen came to our house to arrest Hamada and took him away without ever telling us where to. When we asked why they were arresting him, they said ‘he knows why’,” he said.



Click to read more about Hamada Ben-Amor
El General



Tunisia and Egypt

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Al Jazeera – 10 January 2010:


‘Tunisia ‘to respond’ to protests’

Al Jazeera – 07 January 2010:


‘Tunisia arrests bloggers and rapper’

Al Arabiyah – 07 January 2010:


‘Tunisian rapper arrested after online protest song’

Reuters – Africa – 07 January 2010:


‘Tunisian rapper arrested after online protest song’

Watch videos:

Youtube – 06 January 2010:


‘El General Hamada Ben Amor’

Youtube – January 2010:


‘El General Tounes Bledna Hamada Ben Amor’

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