by Charlie Crooijmans
For the third time in three years artist and human rights activist Mouad Belghouat, alias El Haqed (The Indignant) or L7a9ed, got arrested on Sunday 18 May 2014. “El Haqed has been targeted for his political views and his participation in Morocco’s February 20th movement: On 20 February 2011, what began as a group of Moroccans expressing their frustration with the status quo grew to a nationwide movement that demanded change in Morocco.” (Free L7a9ed – Music is not a crime). Filmmaker, photographer and activist Nadir Bouhmouch put a video on his You Tube channel to call for artistic solidarity with L7a9ed.
The text in the video says,
El Haqed is a Moroccan rap artist, known for his songs of critique the regime. On May 18, 2014, he was arrested for the third time after releasing his third album “Walou”. Last year, when El Haqed heard that the Tunisian Weld15 was arrested, he decided to do what he can to stand in solidarity as an artist and wrote a song for him. Now that El Haqed has been arrested, I ask you as artists to stand with him in solidarity, just like he did for Weld15, with your art. Paint, photograph, sing, film or write. Art is your weapon, with it you can say: no more oppression, no to censorship and art regulation, no to imprisonment of artists. And yes to freedom of expression, yes to freedom of opinion, and yes to artistic freedom. Send your work to firstname.lastname@example.org and use the hash tags #FreeL7a9ed #FreeKoulchi to share.