Freemuse Newsletter no. 2 / 2011


29 June 2011


Musicians break taboos in Tunisia

“Before the revolution there was abuse and media ban. The authorities were afraid of our songs and we were threatened.
After the revolution musicians have started to break taboos and now sing about real problems,” says Tunisian rapper Mehdi R2M,
who recently joined a Freemuse workshop in Cairo.

      See the two new interviews:
      – with Mehdi:

      – and with his colleague Anis Dridi:

Artistic freedom must be protected

In collaboration with Danish Pen, Freemuse is in the process of inviting key international artists’ organisations to
Copenhagen with the aim of creating a global network for the protection of artistic freedom of expression.
‘Copenhagen Summit on Artistic Freedom of Expression – Artsfex’ will take place on 9-11 December 2011.
The summit is made possible through a £30,000 (DKK 250,000) grant from the Danish Ministry of Culture.

      Read more:

Freemuse network helped exiled musician

Everything is affected by censorship in Sudan, says exiled musician Abazar Hamid, who now lives in Cairo.
When he arrived in Cairo he had no contacts, but through the Freemuse network he was introduced to the
Townhouse Gallery in Cairo, which helped him establish new contacts in Egypt.
“That helped me a lot to face all the difficulties and challenges here in Cairo,”
explained Abazar Hamid in a new interview with Freemuse.

      See the video interview:

Sigrid Rausing Trust continues to support Freemuse

The partnership with Sigrid Rausing Trust continues, and in June the trust awarded a new grant of £180,000 for
the next three years to the work of Freemuse.

Freemuse Award secured

Presented for the first time in 2008 to Tiken Jah Fakoly, the Freemuse Award has been secured financially for another
period by a sponsorship from BAIK – the Björn Afzelius International Culture Foundation, which was initiated in memory
of Swedish rock singer Björn Afzelius, who passed away in 1999.
The foundation has been dissolved this year but decided to donate a final grant of £36,000 (DKK 300,000) to Freemuse
in order to continue the award and support the Freemuse work for artists at risk.


Jazz musician suspected as terrorist because of his Arabic name

Rock critic faces prison

‘Drug ballad’ singer killed in Juarez

Myanmar / Burma:
Hip-hop star given amnesty after three years in prison

Find more information and news on

– the world’s largest knowledge base on music censorship.


Connect and interact with Freemuse




– 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.

you do not wish to receive our newsletter in the future, please send an
e-mail to
with the word "unsubscribe" in the subject line.

This newsletter was sent to 2,619 subscribers worldwide
and is archived on

Sign up for the Freemuse newsletter

...and receive the newsletter in your mailbox approximately four times a year

Go to top
Latest news on

Azerbaijan: Rapper arrested, allegedly for song criticising police
“We strongly condemn the detention and harassment of popular Azerbaijani rapper Dado,” wrote The Art for Democracy in Baku
04 March 2013
Pakistan: Manifestations of tolerance and acceptance of music, art and culture
On Music Freedom Day 2013 at a local hotel in Peshawar, music lovers put their voices together to ensure the freedom of artistic and musical expressions.
04 March 2013
Turkey: Imprisoned Grup Yorum member silenced in court
“I have been imprisoned for the last 14 months, I want to talk,” said musician Seçkin Taygun Aydoğan from the Kurdish band Grup Yorum to the judge...
04 March 2013
Pakistan: The undeclared ban on playing music lingers on
Sher Alam Shinwari set out to investigate what the situation is like in Peshawar on Music Freedom Day 2013. He found stifling sounds of Pashto music amid militancy and hostility
01 March 2013
Press release: Broadcasters and artists join Music Freedom Day 2013
Sunday 3 March 2013 we commemorate the six musicians who were killed in the last year, and show support to the many who have been imprisoned and persecuted.
28 February 2013
Norway: First ever 'safe haven city' for musicians
On 14 February 2013 the Norwegian Musicians’ Union presented the first ever ‘safe haven city’ within the field of music: Harstad
27 February 2013
Freemuse annual report: Violations of freedom of musical expression in 2012
In 2012 Freemuse registered a total of 173 cases of attacks on musicians and violations of their rights. We reported about six artists who were killed, and 14 were imprisoned
26 February 2013
France: Rap lyrics targeted
The French Minister of the Interior Manuel Valls wants to fight “aggressive” rap lyrics attacking the state, insulting the flag and women.
25 February 2013
India: Band in Kashmir decides to dissolve after threats
After a fatwa issued by an imam, as well as harassment and threats on social media, the band Pragaash from Kashmir decided to dissolve
22 February 2013
Mexico: ‘Narcocorridos’ can be sung again in Sinaloa
The Mexican Supreme Court found that Sinaloa’s governor had exceeded his powers when he banned public performances of drug ballads, so now the ban will be lifted
19 February 2013