Rapper and activist Master Soumy (real name: Ismaïla Doucouré) received death threats from anonymous phone calls and cyber-attacks after launching a song and campaign to mobilise people against planned constitutional amendments that would increase the powers of the presidency, reported MaliActu.net on 11 June 2017.
In his song ‘An Tè A Bana’ (‘Don’t Touch My Constitution’), Master Soumy said that the guarantor of the constitution should not violate it and turn the country into an empire.
Following the proposed amendments that critics say would give Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita excessive power, Master Soumy embarked on a passionate campaign named after the song to encourage people to vote against the proposed amendments that were originally up for referendum on 9 July 2017.
Due to the popularity of his campaign, the rapper received cyber-attacks and anonymous phone calls, some of them threatening to eliminate him, reported MFWA on 14 June 2017.
In response to the threats and others attempting to dissuade him from continuing the campaign, the rapper responded in an interview with MaliActu.net that: “Nothing in this world will make me allow evil-minded people who only think about themselves to destroy my country. If I have to die for the sake of Mali’s prosperity, so be it.”
Marches and protests delay referendum
Master Soumy was elected second vice-president of online platform ‘An Tè A Bana’, which organized opposition marches concerning the amendments on 17 June and 15 July, reported Maliweb.net on 17 July 2017.
Thousands of Malians participated in the two marches in Bamako to urge authorities to halt the referendum process and give up on the proposed amendments, reported Africa News on 26 June 2017.
Due to the heavy political opposition and large street protests, the government issued a statement on 14 June that the cabinet “decided to delay the referendum, initially planned for 9 July, to a future date”, reported the Daily Mail on 21 June 2017.
» Maliweb.net – 17 July 2017
Platform “An Tè A Bana”: opposition march
» Africa News – 26 June 2017
Mali: Activists group urges gov’t to halt referendum process
» Daily Mail – 21 June 2017
Mali delays constitutional referendum to cool tensions
» MaliActu.net – 20 June 2017
Master Soumy: “Don’t Touch My Constitution!”
» MFWA (Media Foundation for West Africa) – 14 June 2017
Activist Receives Death Threats for Opposing Constitutional Amendment
» MaliActu.net – 11 June 2017
Mali: urgent: the rapper Master Soumy threatened to death