Ten days jail for Russian rapper who mocked police

Tue Aug 3, 2010 10:00am EDT
 
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MOSCOW (Reuters) - One of Russia's most prominent rappers has been given a 10-day jail sentence for disturbing public order by mocking the police in front of thousands of young revelers, the police said on Tuesday.

Rapper Ivan Alexeyev, 25, who is known as Noize MC, taunted policemen as "animals" at a July 31 concert in the southern Russian city of Volgograd.

Known for caustic lyrics, he performed a song about police brutality, which included the lines "Citizen! Halt. Halt. Turn out your pockets, slap, slap. Now your kidneys, kick, kick. Well off you go. Forget it, swallow it, be silent."

After the concert, he was approached by police and taken into custody until August 2 when a court found him guilty of disorderly conduct and sentenced him to 10 days in prison, his spokesman Alexander Berger said.

The Volgograd police said in a statement that Alexeyev had been drunk and used foul language that disturbed public order, belittled the police and showed a lack of respect for society.

"Citizen Alexeyev used foul language to address the policemen providing security at the concert, telling them to bugger off and performed this song for them," a local police spokesman was quoted as saying by RIA news agency.

The police said Alexeyev had acknowledged disturbing public order, but had told the court he was under unusual stress due to the birth of his child the day before the concert.

Endemic bribe-taking and documented cases of torture while in custody have earned the police a fearful reputation in Russian society. President Dmitry Medvedev has promised to reform the police as part of a drive to reduce corruption.

(Writing by Alexei Anishchuk and Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Noah Barkin)