Freemuse Newsletter no 2 / 2016

News and knowledge about musical freedom of expression.     View this email in your browser.

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Wide global attention for annual violations report

The fourth Freemuse annual statistics report, ‘Art Under Threat’, released on 22 February 2016, received wide global attention. The statistics were featured in stories and analysis pieces in several media outlets, including newspapers, radio, podcasts, tv, specialised art magazines and web sites across Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America, and received special attention from UNESCO. Media coverage increased in particular in Latin America this year.

A large portion of media’s attention focused on the reasons behind why certain countries choose to censor or make it difficult for artists to be able to freely express themselves, as well as on the trend that violations continue to be on an exponential rise, with music and musicians continually most frequently being the target.

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Iran: Call to drop social corruption charges on three artists

Just days before Music Freedom Day on 3 March 2016, Tehran Appeals Court sentenced Iranian artists Mehdi Rajabian, Hossein Rajabian and Yousef Emadi each three years in prison, three years probation and a 200 million rial (about US$6,600) fine. The judge, when delivering the sentence, described BargMusic – the alternative music production and distribution company that was run by the three artists – as an agent of “social corruption” and accused the three of having contact with “political and anti-revolutionary” singers abroad.
Freemuse is deeply concerned about the continuous persecution of artists in Iran and calls for the immediate reversal of this unfair judgment.

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Music Freedom Day bigger than ever

The 10th edition of Music Freedom Day, 3 March, was marked in more than 60 countries. Special Music Freedom Day events were held in Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Senegal, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and USA, commemorating the victims of the attack at the Bataclan Club in Paris in November 2015.
‘From Zombies to Revolutionaries’ was the official soundtrack of the day, the film ‘They Will have To Kill Us First’ – a documentary about Malian music in exile following musicians in Mali in the wake of a jihadist takeover and subsequent banning of music – was screened and/or broadcasted in 55 countries around the world as a part of Music Freedom Day. A Freemuse-compiled Spotify playlist of 60 censored songs and artists throughout history was launched on the day.
Join us next year on 3 March 2017.

See the reports and read the media coverage from events around the world on www.musicfreedomday.org

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Freemuse invited to World Press Freedom Day

Artistic freedom will be in focus at a session during the annual World Press Freedom Day, held on 2-4 May in Finland, co-hosted by UNESCO and the government of Finland. Freemuse Executive Director Ole Reitov will take part in an international panel discussion entitled ‘Is artistic freedom a new development challenge?’ The session takes place at Finlandia Hall on 3 May 2016 from 10:30am to 12:00noon.

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LATEST NEWS

on freemuse.org

Artistic freedom in Zimbabwe: Joint stakeholder report submitted to the UN
31 MARCH 2016

Angola: Rapper Luaty Beirão sentenced to over five years in prison
30 MARCH 2016

Iran: Musical instruments still not allowed on Iranian tv
15 MARCH 2016

Burundi: Musician detained for insulting head of state
10 MARCH 2016

Singapore: Madonna banned from performing sensitive song
9 MARCH 2016

Mexico: Two more states ban narcocorridos
9 MARCH 2016

Egypt: Fear of heavy metal returns
8 MARCH 2016

Kenya: LGBT music video banned
7 MARCH 2016

Music Freedom Day in Pakistan: Call for cultural policy
4 MARCH 2016

More news from 2016
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Open, print or download the full report ‘Art Under Threat’ (PDF, 4.5MB, 46 pages)

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