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Moroccan rapper, Gnawi, jailed for one year over track about corruption

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A Moroccan rapper who recorded a viral track denouncing the state of the country has been sentenced to a year in prison for insulting the police in a case that rights groups have called “an outrageous assault on free speech”.

Mohamed Mounir, who performs under the name Gnawi, was also fined the equivalent of $103 (£79) after confessing to cursing about the police in a video he posted online in late October. He can appeal the sentence.

A defence lawyer said he believed his 31-year-old client was prosecuted because of a song he co-wrote about the hardships of young people in Morocco, unemployment and corruption.

The song “Aach al Chaab” — which means long live the people — has been viewed more than 15 million times on YouTube since it was released last month.

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The lyrics denounce injustice and money-grabbing and attack Morocco’s king directly, which according to local media constitutes a clear breach of the kingdom’s “red lines”.

However, the court in Sale near the capital Rabat sentenced Gnawi to one year in jail and fined him 1,000 dirhams ($103) for “insulting a public servant”, a reference to the police.

Gnawi, who was arrested November 1, said he had insulted the police in a video which he posted on his Instagram account because he had been “humiliated” by them.

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DEFENDING THE PEOPLE

“I am an artist. My job is to defend my rights and the rights of the people. It was not the first time that I had been humiliated by the police,” Gnawi told the court.

“Since I was born, I have been humiliated,” he said.

Outside the courtroom, Gnawi’s relatives chanted “long live the people”.

“This is a disgraceful verdict. There can be no justification for imprisoning the Moroccan rapper Gnawi for a year simply because he exercised his right to freedom of expression,” Amnesty International said.

“International law protects the right to freedom of expression – even when the opinions shared are shocking or offensive,” said Amnesty’s Middle East director Heba Morayef.

“This verdict… indicates that those who dare to openly criticise the authorities will face punishment,” Morayef said in a statement.

The case has also sparked outrage on social media, but Mustapha Ramid, Morocco’s minister of state in charge of human rights, told parliament that “Aach al Chaab” was “provocative” and “repugnant”, according to media reports.

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Young people make up a third of Morocco’s 35 million inhabitants. A quarter of those aged between 15 and 24 are unemployed and out of school, according to official figures.

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Rapper, Malik B is dead

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Malik B

American rapper, Malik B, confirmed dead.

The 47-year-old founding member of the Roots and grammy award winner’s death confirmed at the group Instagram page on Wednesday.

Although the cause of his death was not disclosed, the group said they will remember him for his devotion to Islam.

The group wrote,

“It is with heavy hearts and tearful eyes that we regretfully inform you of the passing of our beloved brother and long time Roots member Malik Abdul Basit.

“May he be remembered for his devotion to Islam.

“His loving brotherhood and his innovation as one of the most gifted MCs of all time.

“We ask that you please respect his family and extended family in our time of mourning such a significant loss.”

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Enugu records 49 new Covid-19 cases

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The Enugu State government on Thursday announced 49 new cases of COVID-19 infection, bringing the total number in the state to 790.

The state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ikechukwu Obi, stated this in a statement issued in Enugu.

Obi said that the confirmation of the new cases was contained in the update given by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

He explained that out of the new cases, 28 were confirmed on July 28, with the remaining 21 confirmed on July 29.

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He gave the number of confirmed patients undergoing COVID-19 treatment as 347, adding that 425 had been discharged after two post-treatment tests, which came out negative, while 18 died.

The commissioner advised members of the public to adhere strictly to all the NCDC precautionary measures, saying “COVID-19 is real.”

He urged the residents to call 08182555550, 09022333833 or the NCDC number 080097000010, if they noticed any COVID-19 related symptom or knew anyone who might have developed the symptoms.

“Enugu State Government has also rolled out an assessment platform for the public to self-assess themselves individually for coronavirus.

“The new application, known as, Enugu State COVID-19 Assessment Platform. It is not diagnostic, rather it is meant to determine your risk of exposure to the disease.

“For individuals who do not have access to the Internet or a smartphone, there is a telephone line and a USSD code which can be used.

“The telephone line also has options for English, Pidgin and Igbo Languages,” he said.

According to him, the internet link is https://enugu-covid19.eclathealthcare.com Telephone: 01 440 0037 USSD code: *723*19*12#

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He added that responses were monitored on a dashboard at the State Ministry of Health and would be promptly followed up by the State Emergency Operation Centre.

Obi urged the public to take advantage of the assessment platform.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Police decorate 252 promoted officers in Kano

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Abuja Police

Mr Habu Ahmad, the Police Commissioner in Kano State, has tasked the 252 promoted officers to display high level of professionalism and commitment in the discharge of their duties.

Ahmad stated this in a statement by Mr Abdullahi Haruna, the spokesman of the Command on Wednesday in Kano.

The statement said the CP gave the task while decorating the newly promoted officers of the command on Tuesday.

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Ahmad congratulated the newly promoted officers for their elevation to the new ranks.

He said:

“To whom much is given, much is expected,” and stressed the need for the officers to be steadfast and resolute in the discharging of their constitutional roles.

While calling on the people of the state to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols, Ahmad also wished Muslims faithful a blissful and peaceful Eid-el-Kabir celebrations.

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One of the promoted officers, SP Muktar Sabiu, commended the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, and the Police Service Commission for the gesture.

Sabiu pledged to be committed and dedicated to their duties.

According to the statement, the promoted officers include nine Superintendent of Police (SP), four Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), and 239 Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP II).

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It added that the event was attended by Brig.-Gen. B.A. Alabi, Commander 3 Mechanised Brigade, Kano; Alhassan N. Mohammed, Director Department of State Service (DSS); Air Commodore, Mohammed Isah, 455 BSG Air Force Base, Kano, and Mr Abu Audu, the Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), among others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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