France: Rap musician acquitted of ‘defamation’ charges
On 23 September 2008, Mohamed Bourokba, known as Hamé, was acquitted. The verdict brings to an end one of France’s most protracted and symbolic libel cases which during the last six years has locked one of France’s leading underground rap groups, La Rumeur, in a legal battle against current French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
“If they wanted us to shut up, it didn’t work,” said Hamé after the court hearing: “All these legal issues, all this censorship is making me want to do three times more.”
For the past six years La Rumeur rapper Mohammed Bourokba, better known as Hamé, has been prosecuted by the French government for defamation against the national police. It followed an article he published in a fanzine that he and La Rumeur published to accompany their debut album L’Ombre sur la Mesure. In it, Hamé states that France’s Interior Minister will never report on the “hundreds of our brothers, who were killed by the police without the assassins ever being worried”.