|Rapper arrested and released?|
|Freemuse has sent a letter to the Tunisian Ministry of Culture requesting information about the reported arrest of the Tunisian rapper Hamada Ben-Amor.|
According to several news media the 22 year old rapper was arrested on Thursday 6 January in Sfax for releasing a song critical of government policies, but according to Al Jazeera the rapper was released on Sunday 11 January.
Ben-Amor – also known as “The General” was arrested after posting a song on the internet titled "President, your people are dying" that talks about the problems of the youth and unemployment.
The song came out as students, professionals and youths mounted a series of protests over a shortage of jobs and restrictions on public freedoms.
The protests have grown into the most widespread and violent flare-up of dissent of Ben Ali's 23-year rule.
Zine al Abidine Ben Ali, the Tunisian president, has said the violent protests are unacceptable and could harm the country's interests by discouraging investors and tourists who provide a large part of the country's revenues.
Tunisia, known for its extreme repressive policies towards oppositional voices has faced large protests in the past week.
A brother of the rapper told Reuters last week:
"Some 30 plainclothes policemen came to our house to arrest Hamada and took him away without ever telling us where to. When we asked why they were arresting him, they said 'he knows why'," he said.