(AllHipHop News) In January 2011, the people of Tunisia successfuly revolted against dictator, former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his oppressive rule. Two years later and two rappers have been sentenced to 21 months in prison for performing a song critical of Tunisian police.
Tunisian rappers Ahmed Ben Ahmed (Klay BBJ) nd Ala Yaakoubi (Weld El 15) were arrested at an August 22nd concert after police stormed the stage following their performance of a song which compares police to dogs. The rappers are being charged with insulting the police and harming public morality.
NPR spoke with Ahmed’s mother, Um Ahmed about her son being on the run and she revealed that the two rappers were beaten while in custody and were never informed of their trial date which resulted in them being sentenced to a year and nine months in prison. “Why did we have a revolution? For freedom of speech, for dignity,” says Um Ahmed.
The non-governmental research and advocacy organization, Human Rights Watch’s Tunisia researcher Amna Guellali spoke on the change in artistic freedom following the Tunisian revolution:
Slowly and increasingly, we see a restriction and shrinking of the space for media and for freedom of expression through the prosecution of artists, bloggers, journalists, et cetera under the penal code,