Freemuse Newsletter no 6 / 2016

News and knowledge about musical freedom of expression.



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Freemuse requests UNESCO
to address violations in Iran

Musician Mehdi Rajabian and his brother, filmmaker Hossein Rajabian have been imprisoned in Iran since June. This month Freemuse submitted a complaint to UNESCO regarding the imprisonment and ill-treatment. NGOs can submit an individual complaint to the Committee on Conventions and Recommendations of UNESCO if they have a sufficient connection to the claimed violation. As part of our ongoing campaign in support of the artists, Freemuse has also forwarded complaints to the UN Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights leading to a strong statement calling for the artists’ release.

Read the statement

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Freemuse calls on the Chinese government to release musicians

On World Human Rights Day, 10 December 2016, Freemuse reminded China and the world that the Chinese government has held five Tibetan musicians collectively 5,236 days in prison; that is nearly 14 years and 4 months of collective prison time for practicing their human right to artistic freedom. Freemuse called for the immediate release of the imprisoned musicians, as well as other artists. We will continue to campaign for the release of Lo Lo, Shawo Tashi, Kelsang Yarphel, Gonpo Tenzin, Trinley Tsekar, and any other artists China imprisons for violating their human right to freely create art.

Read more

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Artistic freedom workshop in Pakistan

Freemuse in collaboration with Shirkat Gah, a Pakistani NGO, has conducted a workshop with artists, cultural organisers, lawyers and media in December with the purpose of qualifying a new study on artistic freedom of expression in Pakistan. The two organisations will prepare a joint report to the UN Human Rights Council under the so-called Universal Periodic Review process. A journalistic cum legal report will be published next spring. The project is funded by CKU, The Danish Center for Culture and Development.

Read more news from Pakistan

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Fritt Ord donation to Freemuse

Freemuse has received a grant of NOK 250,000 (approximately EUR 28,000) from the Norwegian foundation Fritt Ord for activities with a special focus on freedom of artistic expression for women artists, attacks on intangible artistic heritage and Music Freedom Day activities in 2017.

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Dying for a song

Ramy Essam, Emel Mathlouthi, Abazar Hamid, Mahsa Vahdat and Mashrou’ Leila are amongst the artists featured in the program ‘Dying for a Song’ broadcasted by BBC World Service on 2 and 4 January 2017. Director Rex Bloomstein talks to artists whose songs have led to their imprisonment, torture and to the continuing threat of violence. Artists who have been driven from their homelands. Artists who literally risk dying for a song.
Bloomstein and co-producer Brian King have consulted Freemuse during the preparation of the programme, which also features an interview with Freemuse Executive Director, Ole Reitov.

Listen: BBC World Service, Sunday Jan. 1 at 03:06 and 14:06 and Wednesday 4 at 09:06 and 23:06 GMT

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Remember Music Freedom Day is coming up 3 March 2017

Music Freedom Day 2017 will put a particular focus on freedom of musical expression for women artists. Preparations are already in progress in Pakistan, Spain, Italy, Senegal, Norway and the US. Join us in making the day another memorable event.

Read more

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Seasonal greetings

The Freemuse secretariat is closed between 22 December 2016 and 2 January 2017. We thank all musicians, artists, partners, readers and members for your support and interest during the past year.

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IN OTHER NEWS

on freemuse.org

Iran: Imprisoned filmmaker granted 72-hour medical leave, back in prison
16 DECEMBER 2016

Turkey: The Freemuse Files on Censorship of the Arts
15 DECEMBER 2016

YouTube: Video banned for “sexual content” re-appears with disclaimer
14 DECEMBER 2016

Freemuse at WOMEX 2016: Unspoken Censorship
12 DECEMBER 2016

Argentina: German electronic band’s concert re-instated after appeal
12 DECEMBER 2016

Iran: Imprisoned musician’s health deteriorating
5 DECEMBER 2016

Turkey: Seven members of Grup Yorum arrested
5 SEPTEMBER 2016

Kenya: Film board bans “obscene” music and “offensive” musician names
24 NOVEMBER 2016

United Nations member states urge Iran to improve human rights
21 NOVEMBER 2016

More news from 2016
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On Friday 3 March 2017, Music Freedom Day will again highlight the ongoing need to fight against oppression and censorship.
Join us. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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