News Brief

Somali-Canadian Man Dies from Severe Injuries Inflicted During Arrest By Police

Think Canada offers a sanctuary from anti-blackness and police brutality? Think again.

UPDATE: CBC News reports that Abdirahman Abdi has died from his injuries, according to his family. Ontario's police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit, has confirmed Abdi's death. A family representative says the hospital waited 45 minutes before informing Abdi's family that he had died.


For those of you who have been swearing up and down that you’re moving to Canada if Donald Trump becomes the next U.S. President—wait, not so fast.

A 37-year-old Somali-Canadian man with a “mental capacity issue” has been taken to the hospital in critical condition Sunday following an attempted arrest, Ottawa Citizen reports.

Ontario’s Special Investigation Unit, a civilian oversight body that probes a death, serious injury or an allegation of sexual assault involving police, is investigating as Abdirahman Abdi remains in critical condition Monday.

Sunday morning, police were called after reports of groping at a coffee shop. When the two police officers confronted Abdi, it’s alleged he led them on a foot chase and “at some point during the confrontation, [he] suffered medical distress” and was taken to The Ottawa Hospital’s Civic Campus. However, witnesses say Abdi was pepper-sprayed and brutally beaten with a baton by the police officers.

"I heard the screaming, and then I come out and I see my brother lying down, police hitting so badly. Like, I've never seen something like that in my life,"Abdirizaq Abdi, the assaulted man’s brother, says, according to CBC News.

Sound familiar? It’s very similar to the instance of police brutality in France that sparked several days of riots north of Paris last week—police claimed Adama Traore, a 24-year-old black Muslim man, suddenly died from “a serious infection” while they arrested him.

The tragic situation involving Abdi comes as Black Lives Matter has gained traction in Canada too, especially in light of outrage over recent police killings in the U.S. of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile as well as last week’s shooting of Charles Kinsey, who had his hands up and was providing assistance to an autistic man.

For example, Black Lives Matter Toronto called out anti-black racism in the LGBTQ community. BLMTO staged a sit-in during Toronto’s Pride Parade on July 3, bringing it to standstill. The organizers refused to cease until the Pride Toronto representatives agreed to sign a letter of demands, which included the the banning of police floats from future parades.

“The presence of police might make some of y’all safe,” Rodney Diverlus, BLMTO co-founder who identifies as queer, says through a megaphone. “But it makes a whole lot of people in our community unsafe. And if you’re down for an inclusive Pride, you are down for a police-free Pride.”

The executive director of Pride Toronto Mathieu Chantelois eventually signed off on BLMTO's demands, so the parade could resume, but the onslaught of racist vitriol and death threats that the chapter received following their act of civil disobedience is appalling, and reinforces the necessity of the black lives matter rallying cry.

These events suggest Canada is not a sanctuary from police brutality or anti-blackness, as some may like to believe. They are part and parcel of white supremacy, a global system that we live in.

If you can stomach another video illustrating police brutality, see below.

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Still from YouTube.

Moroccan YouTuber, Moul Kaskita, Has Been Arrested for Insulting the King

The popular YouTuber posted a video wherein he criticizes King Mohammed VI—an inviolable law according to the kingdom's constitution.

The Star reports that popular Moroccan YouTuber Moul Kaskita, real name Mohamed Sekkaki, was arrested and appeared in court this past Tuesday after he was charged with "insulting Moroccans and constitutional institutions".

Moul Kaskita posted a video onto YouTube wherein he criticized King Mohammed VI's leadership and his fellow Moroccans' complacency when it comes to their rights.

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Image via Wikimedia.

Moroccan Rapper, Gnawi, Has Been Sentenced to a Year In Prison for Criticizing the Police

The rapper was reportedly targeted after releasing a viral music video that spoke out against government corruption.

Moroccan rapper Mohamed Mounir, better known by his stage name Gnawi has been sentenced to a year in prison for a social media post in which he criticized the police, Al Jazeera reports.

The 31-year-old rapper reportedly became a target of Moroccan law enforcement after releasing the song "Aach al Chaab," which he co-wrote with fellow rappers Lz3er and Weld L'Griya. Though the government claims his arrest was not linked to the music video, and was solely based on a video showing him "swearing" the police.

The song's title translates to "long live the people" and it openly discusses the plight of Moroccan people by criticizing corruption, unemployment and abuse by the government. The song's music video currently has over 16 million views on YouTube and Gnawi was arrested just two days after its release.

Weld l'Griya 09 ft. LZ3ER , GNAWI - عاش الشعب (Prod by 88.YounG) youtu.be


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GuiltyBeatz, Kwesi Arthur & Mr Eazi's "Pilolo" visualizer video (Youtube).

The 20 Best Ghanaian Songs of 2019

Featuring Pappy Kojo, Sarkodie, Amaarae, Kwesi Arthur, Shatta Wale, Efya GuiltyBeatz, Joey B, R2Bees and many more.

2019 was definitely an exciting year for Ghanaian music.

Right from the top of the year, we saw both new and established make their mark with songs that would soundtrack the nation's airwaves, functions, and nights for months to come. In 2019 we got to experience an E.L comeback, Shatta Wale and Beyoncé on the same song, numerous solid Ghana-Naija collaborations, and bop after bop by old and new artists alike.

We also saw the rise of brand new artists, starting from the likes of J.Derobie's wave making debut in January, to Kofi Mole's widespread trap anthem, to Fameye's declaration of brokeness, to the promising future superstar Sam Opoku. As far as projects go, 2019 was a good year for that in the Ghana music space as well. We were blessed with an EP from Sarkodie, an album by the superstar duo R2Bees, talented singer King Promise's debut album, Ko-Jo Cue's stellar debut, and M.anifest's 7-track feel-good EP, among several others.

Ghanaian music has been stepping its game up lately, and there's only one way to go from here. Below, we give you the rundown on the Ghanaian songs that stole ears and hearts and set the pace for the country's sound this year.

Check out the list below. Listen in no particular order.—Nnamdi Okirike

Follow our GHANA WAVE playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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(Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for AFI)

Cynthia Erivo Earns Golden Globe Nomination for 'Harriet'

Check out the full list of 2020 nominees (and the snubs).

Award-winning actress, Cynthia Erivo has earned a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of abolitionist leader Harriet Tubman in Harriet. She's earned a nomination for Best Original Song for 'Stand Up."

She's nominated in the "Best Performance by an Actress In a Motion Picture—Drama" alongside Charlize Theron, Scarlett Johansson, Renée Zellwegger and Saoirse Ronan.

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