March 3, 2009 11:56

Mongrel rapper Lowkey detained in Israel airport

Star released after nine-hour ordeal

Mongrel rapper Lowkey detained in Israel airport
Rapper Lowkey of hip-hop/indie collective Mongrel was recently detained at an Israeli airport for nine hours.

The musician had been travelling to Tel Aviv to take part in a series of charity shows in the country, including sites in Palestine and Palestinian refugee camps, to raise funds to help rebuild the Gaza Strip.

He told NME.COM that his passport was confiscated at Tel Aviv airport on February 27, after which he was questioned, detained for nine hours then released.

"As soon as I stepped off the plane with my AA guide to Israel tucked under my arm, I was pulled away to the side and interrogated as to why I was in Israel, by a man who wore no uniform identifying himself as any type of security but was clearly heavily armed," Lowkey explained.

"After this I carried on through to passport control. After giving over my British passport it was confiscated. I was then detained for nine hours. During this time I was interrogated about many aspects of my life, what the purpose of my trip was, where my parents are from and where I planned to go in Israel.

"Eventually I was told my story was a lie and was subjected to a bout of the Israeli polices paranoid mind games. I was eventually released, knowing that no matter how frustrating what I just went through was, I knew that it was not even a miniscule fraction of the degradation Palestinian people are subjected to on a daily basis."

Mongrel will give away their debut album, 'Better Than Heavy', free with the Independent newspaper on Saturday (March 7).

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