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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



One section of the song that has received the most attention, is directed towards Morocco's King Mohammed VI. According to the BBC, in Morocco "insulting" the king is a taboo and is considered a criminal act, punishable by up to two years in prison. The song's outspoken subject matter, reportedly came as a shock to many Moroccans.

In addition to the year-long sentence, the rapper has also been fined the equivalent of $103.

Human rights organization Amnesty International has denounced the sentencing, calling the Moroccan government's actions "absurd" and an "outrageous assault on free speech."

The organization added: "While Gnawi may have used offensive language to refer to the police, the right to freely express one's views, even if shocking or offensive, is protected by international human rights law. No one should face punishment for freely speaking their minds."

"I am an artist. My job is to defend my rights and the rights of the people," Al Jazeera quotes Gnawi as saying during his court appearance. "It was not the first time that I had been humiliated by the police. Since I was born, I have been humiliated."

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Wekafore Releases Fela Kuti Inspired Collab With Daily Paper

The one-of-a-kind 'The Spirit Don't Die' capsule collection celebrates African heritage and a hope for a brighter future.

Amsterdam-based African streetwear brand Daily Paper has joined Nigerian fashion brand Wekafore in creating a unique capsule collection of note. The 'The Spirit Don't Die' collection is inspired by fashion and Nigerian activism icon Fela Kuti, but celebrates the bountiful beauty, potential, and heritage of Africans.

Nigerian designer Wekaforé Maniu Jibril, owner, and designer of the Wekafore brand has been hot since his 2013 debut. The brand has gone on to become a great success within the realm of West African fashion. Wekaforé represents a newer, more fearless generation of African designers and their latest collaborative collection tells the tale.

Daily Paper x Wekaforé 'The Spirit Don't Die' collectionImage courtesy of Daily Paper


The two popular brands share a rich history and intention to further African fashion's reputation in the world, as well as as a shared desire for raw necessity, organic growth, and authentic community engagement, development and, support. The fashion brands are making it known that street and casual wear are more than we once thought - fashion can be inclusive and fun. The stars truly aligned to bring us this partnership guided by similar core values and the hunger to celebrate Africa and her diasporas through fashion.

The Fela Kuti-inspired collection is filled with distinctive and bold pieces, honoring Africa's past while paving the way towards the future. Wekafore is known for their clear integration of West Africa's 1970's cultural golden age, and this limited collection speaks to those themes, making it a no-brainer to dedicate the line to the legendary King of Afrobeat, whose style never disappointed. It's clear to see how Kuti's influence inspired the exciting and vibrant creative renaissance seen in the collection. On using Kuti as his muse, Wekaforé says, "Like Fela, the pieces are very punk, very psychedelic, and very African at the same time. And that represents me 100%. And I think being able to speak that way through a platform like Daily Paper is a testament to contemporary African consciousness."


Image courtesy of Daily Paper

Daily Paper x Wekafore 'The Spirit Don't Die' Collection

Check out more of Daily Paper x Wekafore's collection 'The Spirit Don't Die' collection here.

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