Ezhel finds freedom despite attempted censorship.
Good news for those out there who are fans of foreign rap, as Ezhel, the popular Turkish rapper, has been acquitted of all charges against him.
Back in May, it was reported that Ezhel had been arrested after a hospital visit on charges of "promoting drug use" in his lyrics. He wasn't arrested for actually using or selling drugs; just talking about them was enough to have him locked up. Ezhel's fans immediately called foul, and started to campaign for his freedom in what was seen as an unjust act of censorships.
Today, The Daily Star reports that despite facing up to 10 years in prison for his "crimes," the judge in Istanbul ruled that Ezhel had not committed any crime intentionally, and was free to leave the prison, where he had been held for the past three weeks, within a few hours of the ruling.
"We got an acquittal. We can say that justice has been done," Ezhel's lawyer was quoted as saying.
Ezhel had found great success as a hip-hop artist in his home country. His debut album, Müptezhel, garnered much attention, and his videos racked up millions of views. His conviction would have placed him as a convenient warning to other artists who would be tempted to make similar music.
The acquittal can be counted as a win in a world where government crackdown on rap music is becoming more and more common. Just yesterday, the U.K. courts opted to ban a rap groupban a rap group from recording music with violent lyrics, in an attempt to reduce violent crime in London.