Al-Haked is a Moroccan rapper, a working class kid from the city of Casablanca. During the early days of the Arab Spring protests in Morocco, Al-Haked, or Muadh Balghawat as his mother calls him, dropped science on the revolution. Only a few days after the February 20 start of the country’s protests, Al-Haked, which means “the spiteful” in Arabic, posted a rap on YouTube which took on the weight of an anthem.
But, as the Mamfakinch blog reminds us, he has been languishing in Akasha prison in Casablanca since September 9.
Based on the strength of message, he “became the official singer of the February 20 Movement, a constant presence at its meetings and marches, where he performed his songs in the street and at rallies.” He directly addressed the king in one song, in another he riffed on royalist slogans.
Al-Haked was not charged with a political crime. Instead, he was arrested for assault and battery. He got into a scuffle of some sort while passing out fliers in his home neighborhood of Alfa with “a young man affiliated with the Royal Youth organization that supports the regime.”
Part of the effort to free him consists of a campaign encouraging people to take a picture of themselves with a sign reading a variant on “Free Hakem” and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.