A British DJ has been sentenced to a year in jail in Tunisia for “offending public morality” after he played a dance music remix of the Muslim call to prayer in a nightclub.
DJ Dax, who was born in London, was in the Muslim-majority nation as part of the Orbit Festival in Nabeul in the country’s northeast.
The club he played in was shut down after footage of the night was put online.
The artist managed to flee the country before being apprehended, and he was tried in his absence.
A court spokesman told AFP news agency that the court had dismissed charges against the nightclub owner and an event organiser.
However, the prosecution has appealed and said the two should have checked what Dax J was planning to play.
The governor of Nabeul, Mnaouar Ouertani, told AFP the club in which the offending performance took place, El Guitoune, will “remain closed” until further notice.
Its manager has been detained for “violations against good morals and public outrage against modesty. We will not allow attacks against the sacred.”
DJ Dax has already offered his “sincere apologies to anyone who may have been offended by music that I played at Orbit Festival in Tunisia on Friday”.
“It was never my intention to upset or cause offence to anybody,” he said.
Writing on Facebook, Orbit festival said they did not take responsibility but attempted to defend DJ Dax.
“In the conditions in which we live in Tunisia currently, our first and ultimate goal is the image of our dear motherland,” they said.
“[DJ Dax] did not intend to provoke your anger or offend you. It is clear, after his apologies, that [DJ Daz] is sincere and has no reason to hurt our dear festivalgoers,” they continued, writing in French.
Adding: “It is unfair that 20 seconds of music messes up a whole two-day event prepared over many long months.”