Freemuse Newsletter no. 2 / 2008


06 May 2008


Campaigns in support of three arrested musicians

Freemuse has joined the campaigns in support of three arrested musicians
– two in Cameroon and one in China:

Lapiro de Mbanga and
Joe La Conscience were arrested in Cameroon on
9 April and 20 March 2008 respectively for criticising constitutional amendments allowing
the country’s president unlimited terms of office.

Read more:

China / Tibet
• Singer Jamyang Kyi is reported
to have been held without charges by Chinese authorities since 1 April 2008.
The Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN
fears that Jamyang Kyi may be held for her activism regarding Tibet.
Read more:


You can also support these artists by sending letters of protest to the embassies of
the two governments:


Campaign: Urge for immediate release of Cameroonian musicians


Campaign: Urge for immediate release of Tibetan singer


Burma/Myanmar: Musicians are being arrested

Artists in Burma have had a hard time since the September 2007 demonstrations.
In November 2007 the lead guitarist in Shwe Thansin group, one of Burma’s top bands
of the 1990s, was imprisoned, and in February and April respectively, two members of
the controversial Burmese hip-hop group Acid have been arrested.

Read more:


Zimbabwe: Singing for the opposition is a crime

Five days imprisonment and a possible custodial sentence has not deterred two Zimbabwean
protest singers from continuing to sell their new album, but they have had to go into hiding.

Read more:


Visa initiative creates big interest

Freemuse has received several requests from international media, politicians and
artists’ organisations regarding the visa initiative launched last year at WOMEX.
A “White Paper” will be published before summer. It will include several
practical proposals that could ensure that overseas representations follow
harmonised procedures.

Read more:


Freemuse met International Music Council

At a meeting in Brno in the Czech Republic, Freemuse held talks with the Advocacy
Working Group and Board of the International Music Council (IMC) regarding common
ground for projects that would suit both organisations.

Read more:


Become a member of Freemuse

By becoming a member of Freemuse, you support our work, and what is even more important,
you become part of our network – signalling that we are a number of people who are
seriously concerned about music censorship. There are two different kinds of membership:
Paying Member and Supporting Member.

Read more:



Read more on features news stories
and background documents on music censorship every week.


Recent news stories

Bahrain: Parliament’s attempt to ban singer failed

St. Vincent: Dancehall star banned for his ‘gangsta lyrics’

Somalia: Dilemmas facing Somali music and musicians


Recent interviews and feature stories

‘This music was from the devil’

Norwegian and Sámi singer Mari Boine speaks about her personal experiences with the
religious ban of joik singing


The destruction of a minority’s music culture

As a comment to Freemuse’s interview with Sámi singer Marie Boine, ethnomusicologist
Ilpo Saastamoinen shares his insight and personal experiences with the oppression of
Sámi music culture.


‘If you move the heart, the
head will follow’

American singer and songwriter Kris Kristofferson speaks about his personal
experiences of music censorship.


Male radio-DJ to female singer:
‘Give sex or be blacklisted’

Why do we see and hear little of women musicians in Zanzibar? Read Lingson Adam’s
report from the Tanzanian island where radio-DJs are known to have ‘blacklisted’
female musicians who refused them sexual favours.


Political pressure and corruption silence musicians

According to Tanzanian musician Muumin Mwinjuma there are a significant number
of causes for oppression and censorship of music in Tanzania – ranging from
political pressure and corruption in media houses to economically unfair rewards.


Why ‘Article 301’ is used against musicians

Political scientist Beate Slydal gives insight into the issues concerning
why the infamous Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code about ‘insulting the
Turkish nation’ is so often used against artists in Turkey.


– The World Forum on Music and Censorship 
Nytorv 17, 3rd floor
1450 Copenhagen K    
Tel  +45 33 32 10 27

Freemuse (FREEdom of MUSical Expression) is an international
human rights organisation advocating freedom of expression for musicians
and composers worldwide.

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