Abdullah Ashini, a popular Amazigh singer in Libya is on indifinite hunger strike in his prison cell.
The hunger strikes comes only a few months after he popular berber singer from the village of Zuara was given a 5-year prison sentence for ‘illegal migration’ – charges he’s has refused from the beginning. The Libyan singer is on hunger strike to catch the the attention of the international community, local and international NGOs and Human Rights organisations.
His main crime is to participate in a Festival of Amazigh Culture at Las Palmas, the Canary Islands two years ago. Upon his return, the Libyan authorities withdrew his passport and have since prevented him from travelling to other festivals, reports kabyle.com.
He has furthermore not been allowed to record any albums in Libya because he sings in a language other than Arabic.
Reports from Freemuse stringers in the region point to the fact that Abdullah was sentenced for 'illegal migration' in connection with the Las Palmas Festival of Berber Music in 2008, rather than for performing and promoting the Amazigh Berber music at the festival. It remains unclear whether the charges against him have been fabricated in order silence the minority Berber community - a practice that has been seen in the region in the past.
Abdullahs hunger strike comes amidst growing pressure on the berber minority group in the region, lastly illustrated by the kidnapping of the two brothers Madghis and Mazigh Buzakhar that were active in the ARSAG Amazigh movement.
In North Africa the Berber people often suffer various forms of discrimination and denial of identity. The legendary Berber singer Lounès Matoub is one of the most well known berber activists that was persecuted for years.
He was assasinated on 25 June 1998.
A Belgium based petitions site calls for concerned individuals to help exercise pressure on the Libyan government to release Abdullah Ashini. Click here
to sign the petition
source : freemuse.org
Voir aussi : Fissures dans le système Kadhafi