ALGIERS (AFP) – An Algerian singer is due to appear in court this week charged with attacking Algeria’s “constituent bodies,” after he performed a song that allegedly poked fun at the police, different sources said on Monday.
“Cheb Faisal was arrested on Sunday after a complaint filed by the general directorate of national security (DGSN) following his performance of a tongue-in-cheek song about the police and its top official, Abdelghani Hamel,” one of the sources said.
The DGSN, Algeria’s internal security service, confirmed the information but gave no further details.
Separate sources said Faisal, a pop singer well-known in western Algeria, wrote the words to the incriminating song and performed it in night clubs in the city of Oran, where he is due to stand trial on Thursday.
The song itself has not been formally recorded, although versions of it have spread on the Internet.
In 2005, another rai singer, Cheb Azzedine, was jailed for a year by a court in the western city of Chlef after he released a song which mocked the governor of the province and the public prosecutor.
Rai, a spicy north African brand of pop music with often explicit references to sex, is particularly popular in the western region of Algeria, where it originated.