On 13 June 2013, the Tunisian rapper Weld El 15 was (again) sentenced to two years in prison for insulting the police in a song.
Weld El 15, (real name: Alaa Eddine Yaacoubi) who had previously been in hiding, turned himself in and was immediately taken into custody.
Cries were raised in the court room when the verdict was announced. Police intervened violently and removed supporters, artist colleagues and friends of the rapper who had attended the court case.
The verdict was announced by the judge of the court of Ben Arous, a suburb of Tunis.
You can join the international support for Weld el 15 by signing this petition:
Event announced on Facebook:
FREE Weld el XV! Pour la liberté d’expression//contre les violences policières en Tunisie
Arterial Network – June 2013:
For a real freedom of expression in Africa: leave our artists alone!
The Tunisian legal system in a crusade against rap
Artsfreedom.org – 11 April 2013:
Tunisia: Artists imprisoned because of rap video
Actress Sabrine Klibi and cameraman Mohamed Hedi Belgueyed were sentenced to six months in prison for their participation in the music video ‘Cops are Dogs’, reported Tunisia Live. Rapper Ala Yaakoubi, who performs under the name Weld El 15 and is responsible for the music video, was sentenced to two years of imprisonment in absentia. He remains on the run.