Tunisia: Rapper Klay BBJ released from custody

21 October 2015


The Tunisian rapper Klay BBJ was released from custody on 21 October 2015 after having been detained over the weekend on suspicion of “possession and use” of cannabis, his lawyer was quoted as saying by various media.

Freemuse welcomes the news which was confirmed by Freemuse’s partner in Tunisia, CIHRS.

“He has just been released, along with two others arrested with him, and the case is closed. He’s very happy,” lawyer Ghazi Mrabet told AFP after his client had left Bouchoucha prison on the outskirts of Tunis.

He said the rapper had refused to take a drug test while in detention. “The prosecutor finally consulted the file and ordered his release,” Mrabet said.

Although he denies drug use, Klay BBJ (real name: Ahmed Ben Ahmed) is no stranger to controversy. In 2013, he was sentenced to 21 months in prison along with fellow rapper Weld El 15 for insulting a public servant, in a case that sparked controversy in Tunisia and calls by human rights groups for their release. Their sentence was later reduced to six months but the pair appealed the ruling and were eventually acquitted.

Klay BBJ is known for writing lyrics that criticise authorities, particularly the security forces.

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