Liberated Moroccan Rapper Promises Future Protest Songs
Moroccan rapper Mouad Belrhouat, whose goes by the moniker El-Haqed or “The Sullen One,” has been released from a Casablanca prison after serving four months for assault, a charge which his lawyers say was a ploy to stifle the singer. Belrhouat, who has become one of the monarchy’s staunchest critics, said he would continue rapping to protest “against the contempt ordinary Moroccans endure at the hands of the state and politicians” and pledged to continue to “[spreading] my message and denounce the massive corruption in our country.” ”This is not an ordinary trial. It is a political trial,” a lawyer for the rapper told the court, where several members of the February 20 movement were present.
Meanwhile, Paul Schemm writes that the newly-elected parliament lead by the Islamists Justice and Development Party will have to vie for power with many of the king’s appointees, dubbed a “shadow cabinet.” Schemm contends, “King Mohammed VI has made a flurry of appointments to his royal cabinet in recent weeks, men who look poised to challenge the new government’s power and, critics say, threaten democratic progress unleashed by the Arab Spring.” Aziz El Gouzouli suggests that the reputation of the Western Sahara’s Polisario Front has been irreparably damaged, asserting that “autonomy under Morocco’s sovereignty is the only realistic solution.”