One of Morocco's most famous rappers, Mouad Belghouat, who goes by the name Al-Haqed (loosely translated from Arabic as "the vengeful one"), has been given a one year jail term for criticising the Police in a video. He had been charged with insulting state employees and official institutions.
|Moroccan Rapper Mouad Belghouat|
Belghouat, 24, a severe critic of King Mohammed VI, was not present in the Casablanca court on Friday when the verdict and sentence were handed down. His defence team had withdrawn from the trial on Monday and no plea was entered on his behalf.
The sentence, which also includes a 90-Euro fine, was described as "severe" by his lawyer Omar Bendjelloun who also confirmed that the star would appeal against what he called "a trial against the freedom of expression".
The charge emanates from a You Tube video which included images of Moroccan Police Officers, one of which showing an officer with a donkey's head.
Meanwhile New York-based rights group Human Rights Watch, claim that Belghouat denies any knowledge of the source of the video and believes that unknown people created a montage of photos and his music.
So now we know what it means when someone says "the law is an ass!"