Tunisian rapper Klay BBJ jailed for six months

Tunisian rapper Ahmed Ben Ahmed, known as Klay BBJ, gestures behind the bars of a police vehicle as he leaves Hammamet court, Tunisia - 26 September 2013 His supporters chanted "Free Klay BBJ" as the rapper was put in a police van

Tunisian rapper Ahmed Ben Ahmed, known as Klay BBJ, has been sentenced to six months in jail for insulting the authorities in his songs.

He lost his appeal after he and fellow rapper Weld El 15 were found guilty last month of insulting the police at a concert in the resort of Hammamet.

They two had been sentenced in absentia in August to 21 months in prison.

Weld El 15, who has been in trouble before for his song The Police Are Dogs, did not appeal and is on the run.

Start Quote

Our songs criticise the current situation in Tunisia and the government, no more and no less”

End Quote Klay BBJ

Tunisia is the birthplace of the Arab Spring.

A coalition led by the moderate Islamist Ennahda party is in government following the overthrow of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011 and elections later in that year.

'New injustice'

"Our songs criticise the current situation in Tunisia and the government, no more and no less," AFP news agency quotes Klay BBJ as saying in court.

"I am among the rappers most critical of the government and that is why [the authorities] are after me," he said.

But the judge rejected his appeal and said the six-month sentence would begin immediately

As he was led out of court in Hammamet to a prison van his supporters chanted "Free Klay BBJ", the Associated Press reports.

His lawyer, Ghazi Mrabet, said another appeal would be lodged.

"It is a new injustice targeting artists. I will appeal and continue the fight," he told AFP.

Weld El 15, whose real name is Ala Yaacoubi, was given a two-year sentence in June for his song The Police Are Dogs.

His sentence was suspended in July and he was released from prison. But he went into hiding following his latest conviction in August.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Africa stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

Programmes

  • A prosthetic legClick Watch

    How motion capture technology is being used to design bespoke prosthetics

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.