Morocco: Rapper allegedly set up and arrested

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Click to see Lhaqed's Facebook support group

“Free Lhaqed or arrest us all!” states the writing on the t-shirts of these four protesters photographed at a demonstration on 11 September 2011

Photo: from Lhaqed’s support group on Facebook

Click to read the note on FacebookMorocco:
Rapper allegedly set up and arrested

The journalist and political activist Ghassan Waïl, who lives in Casablanca, reported that the rapper Mouad El Haked (Moad Lhaqed) was arrested, and that a judge lateron decided to open a court case against him on charges which could lead to a verdict of one to two years’ imprisonment.

Ghassan Waïl posted the following ‘note’ on Facebook:

“One of the most famous rappers of the Moroccan protest movement called ‘20th February Movement’ was arrested in Casablanca, Morocco, yesterday evening, September 9th 2011. The 24-years-old rapper Mouad Belghouat, artist name: Lhaqed [ín Morocco spelled in Arabic letters. In Latin letters, his name is spelled in numerous ways: el7a9ed, Lhaqad, Lhaged, or El Haked, meaning ‘hateful’ or ‘malicious’], was arrested while he was distributing flyers for a pacific demonstration for freedom and democracy in Morocco on 11 September. The police arrested Lhaqad after someone filed a charge against him claiming that Lhaged had aggressed him.

We have reasons to believe that Lhaqed was set up by the authorities for the following reasons:

According to his lawyer, a member of an informal organisation called ‘Royalist youth alliance’ which is known for its radical rightwing positions and its violence, went to the house of Lhaqed on September 9th and insulted him and his family. Lhaqed was not at home at this moment but was told about it later and went to the police to file a charge. There he was held and interrogated for three hours. Eventually when he was allowed to leave the police station, he returned to his neighborhood to join a group of activists that were mobilizing for the demonstration.




Morocco



Mouad el7a9ed

Haked was distributing flyers peacefully when the same person approached him and began to insult him. Then he assaulted him. There was quarrel between the two.

By ‘coincidence’ an ambulance was waiting down the street and took the aggressor to a hospital. There he was given a sick certificate for 45 days of medical treatment with which he filed a charge against Haked for sustained injury. With this charge, Haked risks a prison sentence of one to two years.

It is a common strategy of the moroccan authorities to set up cases of civil charges against political activists or journalists.

The 20th February Movement is a protest movement in the spirit of the ‘Arab spring’ and has been fighting for more democracy, liberty, dignity and social justice over the last seven months. Haked is one of the artists highly involved in this movement. His lyrics are famous for being outspoken and critical about the Moroccan regime. He criticizes corruption, clientelism, the oligarchy of a few families in Morocco and the monarchy’s excessive wealth.”




Click to see photo in Facebook
  Demonstration for the release of Mouad Lhaqed

Click to see more on Facebook
  19 September 2011 in Rabat, the capital of Morocco, in front of the parliament:
  Mobilization campaign for the liberation of Mouad Lhaqed. Click on photo to see more.


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Support group: من أجل إطلاف سراح الحاقد

Ghassan Waïl’s alert page: Alert: Rapper Moad Lhaqed arested @ Casablanca Morocco

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ARTE TV:
Le rapeur Mouad Belghouat





 

Series of arrests


The blogger-community Global Voices reports that there has been a sudden surge in arrests among pro-democracy activists and online campaigners in Morocco in recent days where charges were allegedly fabricated.

“Little has been reported in the press and it took bloggers to report on the arrests for the traditional media in Morocco to pick up on the stories.”

Most recent arrests:
• Mohamed Douas
• Younes Belmalha
• Moad Lhaqed

These arrests come only two months after the country adopted a supposedly democratic constitution, described by its advocates as one that would guarantee greater freedom of expression.

Read the article

Global Voices – 13 September 2011:
‘Morocco: Multiple Arrests Against Activists’

 

More information about this artist

Google – continuously updated:

Search: “moad” + “el7a9ed”

Campaña para la Liberacion de Mouad El Haqed

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