Algeria: Tunesian singer expelled and banned by Algerian authorities
“After the two concerts in Algiers and Bejaia, the Algerian authorities have expelled me and banned me from reentering Algerian territory,” wrote the singer Bendir Man on his Facebook profile on 14 August 2011.
Bendir Man performed two concerts in a row in Algeria on 11 and 12 August 2011 where he was accompanied by the Algerian singer Baâziz.
According to unconfirmed sources on the Internet, Bendir Man (real name: Bayrem Ben Kilani) was asked to leave the stage in the middle of his concert in Bejaia because of a problem with the sound system. The organisers reportedly told that they were ordered to cancel the concert, and because they had refused to do so, the sound system was sabotaged with an explosion.
According to the Tunisian website Webdo.tn, the the controversy began the day before, when at the first of his two concerts in Algeria, Bendir Man had been singing ‘99% Chabaa Dimokratia’ — ‘99% of full democracy’ — a parody on the elections pipe. The cheering audience had demanded names, and Bendir Man had replied, “Arab leaders, like the one we had in Tunisia and the one you have now.”
At the airport before leaving Algeria on 14 August 2011, Bendir Man’s airplane was held back by authorities for an hour and a quarter, while the artist was being questioned and his luggage was searched. He was then presented with a paper stating that he was officially banned from Algeria, accused of “exporting the revolution”.
Baâziz still continuing his tour for summer 2011. He has already conducted two concerts in Algiers, one of them at the Khaimatkoum Du Hilton D’alger, and will be part of a ‘mega concert’ on 18 August at the Esplanade Riadh El Feth in Algiers.