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Lebanon: Two singers interrogated over banned music video

16 March 2017
Singers Myriam Klink and Jad Khalife were interrogated for over six hours at a Beirut police station over a video authorities banned for being “indecent”.
Photo: Myriam Klink/Facebook

 

Lebanese-Serbian pop star and model Myriam Klink and Lebanese singer Jad Khalife were interrogated for over six hours at a Beirut police station by the Internal Security Forces’ Office for the Combatting of Cyber Crimes as part of an investigation over a video authorities banned for being “indecent”, reported The Daily Beast on 15 March 2017.

The singer told the news outlet that before leaving the police station she was asked to sign a declaration that she would not release such a video again.

“They wanted me to sign not to repeat [it] again, I didn’t want to sign … I didn’t do anything wrong … I didn’t want to sign, I told them, ‘Arrest me’, and they didn’t want to arrest me,” Klink said. “So we started fighting inside; I wanted to stay, they wanted me to go.”

Lebanon’s Minister of Justice Salim Jreissati banned Klink’s video of her song ‘Goal’ from all media outlets, including online outlets, such as YouTube and social media portals, reported Lebanese National News Agency on 4 March 2017.

Judge Roland Chartouni issued a ruling the same day that levied a hefty fine of 50 million Lebanese Liras (approx. 30,000 Euros) to anyone who shared or displayed the video.

The video, however, is still available on YouTube and has been reportedly shared on messaging platforms, though no reports have surfaced of individuals being fined, reported Albawaba on 6 March 2017.


Controversy over appearance of child
The provocative video, which featured Klink dressed in lingerie with Khalife in various bedroom scenes, was pulled less than 24 hours after it went live.

Jreissati and Chartouni, along with Minister of Information Melhem Riachy, also said that scenes in the video of a little girl dancing with Klink on a bed constituted “exploitation”.

Klink told The Daily Beast that her video was “something normal” and that another Lebanese pop star had put children in similar videos in the past. The news outlet also reported that the child’s mother is a friend of Klink’s and was present during the video shoot.


Similar incident in Tanzania
The particularly steep fine on those who distribute the video recalls an earlier incident in May 2016 in Tanzania, where Tanzanian authorities banned Snura Mushi’s video for song ‘Chura’ for being “controversial and immoral”.

Authorities added that anyone found distributing or releasing the video would be charged according to the 2014 Cyber Crime Act. Further, the artist herself was banned from performing in the country until the video was edited and registered with the National Arts Council.

 

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