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Morocco persecutes rapper
Morrocan rapper El Haqed was arrested on 18 May. He recently released an album called ‘Walou’ (Nothing) referring to the lack of changes in the fields of justice, education, democracy and the widespread corruption in the country. The album has been banned by the Moroccan authorities and several of El Haqed’s concerts have been cancelled.
Chinese authorities in Khyungchu County have arrested another popular Tibetan singer Gepey following a packed concert participated by several other singers from various parts of Tibet on 24 May. More than a dozen Tibetan singers are now imprisoned in China.
The jury of the Digital Communities of Prix Ars Electronica 2014 has selected Freemuse for the ‘Award of Distinction’ at the 2014 Prix Ars Electronica – the world’s oldest and most renowned prize in media art. The jury motivated the decision like this: “The fact that musicians are being targeted throughout the world, arrested, harassed and repressed, makes it even more relevant to promote a community that empowers them and advocates free speech in the current scenario of increasing surveillance and censorship.” Freemuse has previously received international rewards such as the Womex Award and the International Music Council Inaugural Musical Rights Award.
Egypt: Freemuse Award winner questioned by security police
Ramy Essam, the 2011 Freemuse Award winner, was questioned by the National Security Police prior to the election of President Sisi. The security police is feared for its brutal methods and political investigations.
Focus on censorship in Belarus at European Music Forum
Lavon Volski, one of the most censored artists in Belarus, will discuss censorship with Freemuse Director Ole Reitov and German journalist Ingo Petz at the forthcoming European Music Forum in the Swiss capital Bern on 19-22 June. Organised by the European Music Council, the Forum will evolve around the theme ‘Music & Politics: A Shared Responsibility’.
There was a good deal of humour and talk about the meaning of punk culture when original Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova met Freemuse Director Ole Reitov at Kulturhuset in Oslo.
Music Freedom Day 2014 was once again a fantastic event with participating musicians, radio broadcasters and human rights activists in nearly 20 different countries highlighting the importance of artists’ rights to freedom of expression. NOW is the time to begin planning for Music Freedom Day 3 March 2015. Join the event