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Russia: Pussy Riot members’ appeal
accepted by Supreme Court
The ruling on 10 December 2013 came three months before Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina are to be released from prison. The Supreme Court said prosecutors proved the women were motivated by religious hatred and enmity but never established the band acted out of hatred toward a social group. The high court also said the Moscow court ignored the women’s age, that they have young children and the non-violent nature of the crime. Read more
Freemuse condemns imprisonment
of Tunisian rapper Weld El 15
The Tunisian government and legal system disregards the findings and recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur in the field of culture. According to Freemuse Director Ole Reitov the Tunisian rapper Weld El 15 was disproportionately sentenced when he recieved a four months prison sentence for a song which criticises police brutality. Read more
Trinley Tsekar, 22, and Gonpo Tenzin, 25, have been arrested in separate incidents in late November 2013 in Diru County, according to the Tibetan Center For Human Rights and Democracy which launched the campaign ‘Banned Expression: Campaign to Protect Free Speech in Tibet’. Read more
Freemuse in collaboration with AFTE, an Egyptian freedom of thought and expression association, has conducted a study on censorship legislation regulating artistic creativity in Egypt. The study reveals severe non-transparent practices of censorship exercised by various cultural bodies. The findings will be discussed at a public meeting in Cairo at the darb1718 gallery on 16 December 2013 and will be submitted to the UN Human Rights Council jointly by Freemuse and AFTE under the so-called Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The study has been made possible through a generous grant from the Section for Cultural Affairs in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Khaled Harara, a rapper from Gaza, has been accepted as “guest writer” by Gothenburg City Council in Sweden. Gothenburg is a member of ICORN — an international association of cities and regions providing a writer at risk with a safe place to stay. For several years Freemuse has advocated for the incorporation of musicians and other artists in safe city systems. At a recent meeting organised by the Swedish Arts Council, several cities indicated they will open up for other artists as well. Earlier this year, the Norwegian city Harstad announced it would host a musician under threat in collaboration with SafeMUSE.
Freemuse continues to document censorship of all artists and cultural producers at artsfreedom.org. Supported by Fritt Ord and CKU, the web documentation will be increased in 2014 in collaboration with Global Voices, an international network of bloggers.
This is the day artists, broadcasters and cultural activists highlight the importance of artists’ rights to freedom of expression. Planning for Music Freedom Day on 3 March 2014 has been initiated in a number of countries.Join the event