Morocco: Rapper El Haked arrested again




Rapper El Haked arrested again

On 29 March 2012, the 24-year-old rapper Mouad Belghouat, known as Lhaqed or El Haked, was arrested again because of one of his songs.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, ANHRI, wrote:
“El Haked’s arrest for the content of his songs for the second time is unacceptable and is a clear violation of freedom of expression, which includes freedom of creativity and art. Freedom of expression is an inherent right and no one should be punished for expressing his opinions, whether that was critical of the system or not.”

El Haked has been charged with “insulting a public officer in connection with its functions and for a body corporate”. He can get convicted to up to two years inprisonment for this.

El Haked, who is based in Casablanca, was summoned for interrogation on a charge of offending a public authority by the Casablanca Court of First Instance. A complaint was filed by the General Directorate of National Security, and the police accused the rapper for having posted a song on the Internet with photos which are detrimental to the police.

Second time in prison
It is worth noting that this is not the first time that El Haked has been arrested for his songs. He was imprisoned for four months on trumped-up charges before being released on 12 January 2012 after a great national and international mobilisation.

Now he is in prison again. The judge refused again to set him free until the final judgment. “His conditions of detention are very bad, and he can’t see his family and friends except from time to time,” a friend of El Haked told Freemuse.

The Moroccan medias are not supporting him, and the mobilisation to support him is less than it was the first time he was arrested.

According to his lawyers, El Haked acknowledges having sung the song, but the accompanying video and photo-editing was done by an anonymous person. In the particular song, El Haked accuses police of corruption.




El Haked


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