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Israel releases British rapper detained at airport

July 21, 2010 3:37 P.M. (Updated: July 22, 2010 9:27 P.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli airport authorities have released a British-Iraqi rapper who was held for half a day at Ben Gurion International Airport, the musician's fan page reported Wednesday.

Lowkey was detained Tuesday upon arrival in Tel Aviv en route to play a number of concerts and hold a series of musical workshops in refugee camps in the West Bank as part of the Hip Hop Bus Tour, composed of members from the Existence is Resistance, The South West Youth Collaborative, and the University of Hip Hop Chicago.

Fans started an online petition shortly after Lowkey's detention calling on the Israeli government to release the musician and allow him to play in Palestine.

A spokeswoman for Israel's Interior Ministry immigration department did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment. An email to Lowkey's booking representative was not immediately returned.

In February 2009, Lowkey was detained at the airport en route to several Palestinian charity concerts to help raise funds to rebuild Gaza following the war.

Born Kareem Dennis to an Iraqi mother and English father in Tooting, London, Lowkey's Gaza anti-war song reached number 1 in the UK charts in January.
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