• Censorship in Nigeria: Musical free expression in the shadow of Fela

    Banning Eyre and Mark LeVine recently spent, between them, a month in Nigeria. LeVine as part of his ongoing research on music and history there, and Eyre, with LeVine’s assistance, to gather material for Hip Deep in Nigeria, a set of five radio programs for the Peabody Award-winning American public radio series Afropop Worldwide. Their […]
  • Iran: Musician and filmmaker returned to prison

    On 7 April 2017, the Center for Human Rights in Iran reported that music producers Mehdi and Hossein Rajabian returned to Evin Prison in Tehran on 4 April after their request for an extension of their seven-day temporary leave was denied by the judiciary. “The only change in the new year was that we walked […]
  • Music Freedom Day highlights 2017

    Music Freedom Day once again took place globally on 3 March with the participation and mobilising of artists, broadcasters, cultural managers, journalists, activists, creative hubs, organisations and music lovers worldwide. Around the world, Music Freedom Day events took place in 23 countries. The focus for Music Freedom Day 2017 were women’s voices and the need […]
  • Podcast: Spotlight on Saudi female artists

    What’s it like to be a female artist in one of the world’s most conservative states? Today is Music Freedom Day, which makes a special focus on women performers and musicians and we therefore bring you this podcast by Big Hass, founder and radio host of Laish Hip Hop – Saudi’s First FM Hip Hop […]
  • Qatar: Playing with the censors

    The state of Qatar is young and old at the same time, immersed in both modernity and tradition. Governed by strict Islamic principles under the supreme power of the emir, Qatar is a place where freedom of speech is very limited, and where artistic expression risks being banned or censored due to its religious content […]
  • Freemuse Newsletter no 1 / 2017

    News and knowledge about musical freedom of expression. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . […]
  • Listen to forbidden female voices

    » To listen, go to play.spotify.com   MUSIC FREEDOM DAY 2017 SPOTIFY PLAYLIST – IN CELEBRATION AND PROTECTION OF WOMEN’S VOICES Did you know that… Women are banned from singing in public in some countries? Women cannot attend a concert in some places? The music industry is still unequal? This is why Freemuse is focusing […]
  • Freemuse press release: Women’s voices on Music Freedom Day

    Freemuse | Press Release View this email in your browser Music Freedom Day 2017 in celebration and protection of WOMEN’S VOICES Global event on 3 March 2017 Did you know that Women are banned from singing in public in some countries Women cannot attend a concert in some places The music industry is still unequal⇒ […]
  • Zohra receives Freemuse Award: “This can inspire young women in Afghanistan to play music”

    A packed concert hall in Geneva witnessed concert master Marjan Fidaee receive the 2017 Freemuse Award on behalf of Zohra, the Afghan Women’s Orchestra, on 25 January 2017. In her acceptance speech Marjan Fidaee said, “The award was not only for the Zohra orchestra but for all Afghanistan.” Dr Ahmad Sarmast, founder of the Afghanistan […]
  • Zohra – The Afghan Women’s Orchestra – is winner of Freemuse Award 2017

    Zohra, the winner of the Freemuse Award 2017, is the first and only all women orchestra in Afghanistan. They are students at the National Institute of Music (ANIM) and the first women in their families, community and country to learn music in over 30 years. “With exceptional courage and dedication these young women are breaking […]
  • Songhoy Blues plays Fela – featuring Femi Kuti

    SPECIAL SONG FOR BROADCASTERS for Music Freedom Day 3 March 2017 – and the days to come The song ‘Shakara’ featuring Songhoy Blues with special guests Femi Kuti and Madu Diabate, recorded exclusively for broadcasters on the occasion of the annual Music Freedom Day. Details about the song Name of song: Shakara Composers: Fela Kuta, […]
  • Freemuse Newsletter no 6 / 2016

    News and knowledge about musical freedom of expression. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . […]
  • Turkey: The Freemuse Files on Censorship of the Arts

    For almost 20 years, Freemuse has documented violations on freedom of musical expressions and since 2012 also violations on other art forms in Turkey. ‘Turkey – The Freemuse Files’ is the first in a series of Freemuse compilations. The idea is to provide our readers, network partners and policy makers with an easy, quick overview […]
  • Freemuse Newsletter no 5 / 2016

    News and knowledge about musical freedom of expression. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . […]
  • Chile/USA: Former military officer convicted for murdering singer Victor Jara

    On 27 June 2016, a jury in Orlando, USA, ordered the former Chilean military officer Pedro Pablo Barrientos Nuñez to pay US$28 million in damages to Chilean singer Victor Jara’s widow and daughters. The court found the 67-year-old former senior military officer, who lives in the US, liable for the torture and murder of the […]
  • Freemuse Newsletter no 4 / 2016

    News and knowledge about musical freedom of expression. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . […]
  • Pakistan: The war on living arts in Swat

    Who is protecting and supporting the living arts after a conflict? A new report reveals how artistic life and the cultural industry is still suffering immensely after the Taliban were ousted from the Swat Valley in Pakistan more than seven years ago. A new report on the effects of war and repression of musicians, performers […]
  • France: Music festivals cancel Eagles of Death Metal performances

    Music festival organisers in France have cancelled performances by the American band Eagles of Death Metal following controversial remarks by its frontman, reported various international news providers. The band’s Bataclan concert in Paris in November 2015 was attacked by terrorists, who shot and killed 89 people there. Eagles of Death Metal’s leadsinger Jesse Hughes had […]
  • Turkey: “Music that sexually turns on people is a sin”

    Artists are facing severe difficulties under Erdoğan’s rule. On 15 February 2016, The Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs, issued a fatwa – a religious ban – on ‘sexual’ music. The latest victim of this arbitrary repression is an imam who runs a rockband and opposes the Directorate’s fatwa from a religious perspective. By Yiğit Günay […]
  • Sweden: Freemuse Award ceremony 2016 in the Eurovision Village

    Two Freemuse Award winners shared the stage when Lavon Volski received the 2016 Freemuse Award in Stockholm on 8 May 2016. The event took place on stage in Stockholm’s Kungsträdgården – which currently has been transformed into the ‘Eurovision Village’. “Belarus has a winner, but…” Stockholm city hosting the Eurovision Song Contest 2016, the world’s […]
  • Jordan: Ban on performance by Lebanese band reversed

    Jordan is permitting the popular Lebanese rock band Mashrou’ Leila to perform, thereby lifting an earlier ban imposed amid claims that the group’s songs – which are promoting religious and sexual freedom – “violate local customs and religious beliefs.” Khalid Abu Zeid, a regional politician who initially announced the ban against Mashrou’ Leila (‘Leila’s Project), said […]
  • China: British heavy metal band forced to alter show

    Iron Maiden have become the latest band to change their live performance in order to satisfy the Chinese government. The metal veterans played two shows in China – in Beijing and Shanghai – in the last week of April 2016. The band had to change lyrics and drop special effects and stage props, according the […]
  • Nordic Ministers of Culture declare support for artistic freedom

    “Artistic and creative expressions, as an integral part of the human right to freedom of expressions, is critical both to the development of cultures and to the functioning of democratic societies,” said a declaration by the Nordic Ministers of Culture adopted at a seminar on 2 May 2016 during the World Press Freedom Days in Helsinki. […]
  • Sweden: Belarus has a winner in the Eurovision village

    A week before the Eurovision final, Belarus has a winner in the Eurovision Village. Unfortunately he is banned in his home country! On Sunday 8 May, Lavon Volski will receive the Freemuse Award 2016 for his assiduous and fearless fight for freedom of musical expression in Belarus. The award will be presented at the large […]
  • Freemuse Newsletter no 3 / 2016

      News and knowledge about musical freedom of expression. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . […]
  • Belarus: Lavon Volski is a free man in an unfree country

    Since the beginning of the 1980s, the Belarusian rock musician Lavon Volski has been one of the most influential cultural personalities in his country fighting for freedom of artistic expression. In May 2016, he is being honoured with the Freemuse Award 2016. By Ingo Petz For more than 30 years now, Lavon Volski has been creating rock and […]
  • Freemuse Award Winner 2016 is Lavon Volski

    Lavon Volski, an icon of Belarusian rock music, is the winner of the 2016 Freemuse Award. His songs are anthems of those who dream of a democratic and free Belarus. Thus Volski since many years has been on the regime’s infamous “black list” of artists never played on national radio and banned from performing. The […]
  • Freemuse Newsletter no 2 / 2016

    News and knowledge about musical freedom of expression.     View this email in your browser. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . […]
  • Artistic freedom in Zimbabwe: Joint stakeholder report submitted to the UN

    Zimbabwe should abolish its Censorship Act and any prior-censorship bodies or systems, according to a joint stakeholder submission to the UN’s Universal Periodic Review process (UPR) by Freemuse and Nhimbe – two civil society organisations defending artistic freedom in Zimbabwe and globally. COPENHAGEN/BULAWAYO, 31 MARCH 2016 | Zimbabwe’s 2013 constitution guarantees the right to freedom […]
  • Angola: Rapper Luaty Beirão sentenced to over five years in prison

    On 28 March 2016, the prominent Angolan rapper Luaty Beirão was sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison for planning a rebellion against President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, reported several news sources. 34-year-old Luaty Beirão was sentenced to 5.5 years for “rebellion against the president of the republic, criminal association and falsifying documents” by the Luanda […]
  • Iran: Musical instruments still not allowed on Iranian tv

    Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting blurred the musicians playing instruments, reported journalismisnotacrime.com on 12 February 2016. Families around Iran were told they were in for a treat: Iran’s state tv announced it would broadcast a concert by the popular Iranian singer Salar Aghili. But when it came to the event, very little of the concert […]
  • Turkey: ‘Rocking imam’ blocked from singing in Portugal

    Turkish imam and rock musician Ahmet Muhsin Tüzer has been denied permission to give a concert in Portugal by Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs, the Diyanet, reported several news media on 1 March 2016. Known in Turkey as the “Rockin’ Imam”, Ahmet Muhsin is the imam in the town of Kas, a tiny hamlet on […]
  • Music Freedom Day in Pakistan: Call for cultural policy

    Participants gathered with great enthusiasm across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata to celebrate the annual Music Freedom Day, calling on their leaders to formulate a comprehensive cultural policy, reported Sher Alam Shinwari from the city of Peshawar on 3 March 2016. By Sher Alam Shinwari Senior artists, singers and writers at a function demanded of the […]
  • Freemuse Press Release: Musicians unite in defence of artistic freedom

    View this email in your browser Musicians unite in defence of artistic freedom Music Freedom Day 2016 1 March 2016, Copenhagen  |  Artists will perform live in Pakistan, Hungary, Senegal, Sweden, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Norway on Music Freedom Day, 3 March 2016, in defence of artistic freedom.   Starting in Peshawar, one of […]
  • Freemuse Newsletter no 1 / 2016

    News and knowledge about musical freedom of expression.        View this email in a browser Musicians unite in defence of artistic freedom   Join Music Freedom Day 2016    This week three artists in Iran were sentenced each to three years in prison, three years probation and a hefty fine for the production and promotion of underground […]
  • Art Under Threat: Attacks on artistic freedom in 2015

    Freemuse Annual Statistics on Censorship and Attacks on Artistic Freedom in 2015 Artistic freedom is under extreme pressure in far too many countries. The Freemuse annual report summarises censorship and threats on artistic freedom in 2015 in over 70 countries. In total, Freemuse registered 469 cases of censorship and attacks on artists and violations of […]
  • Music Freedom Day video: ‘From Zombies to Revolutionaries’

    In the lead-up to the annual Music Freedom Day on 3 March 2016, Freemuse is proud to present the music video for a unique track with a group of today’s most powerful Arab and Iranian revolutionary artists joining together to cover Fela Kuti’s most powerful political song, ‘Zombie’. “Music is the weapon of the future!” […]
  • Ethiopia: Crackdown on Oromo musicians

    The current unrest in the Oromia region with news reports about a state crackdown on musicians is nothing new in Ethiopia, explains Endalk in this background article. In the last two decades, any Oromo singer who gravitated towards political and social activism have been subjected to intimidation, abductions, and torture. Singers have been killed, and […]
  • Ethiopia: Three singers arrested, abducted and tortured

    Three Oromo protest singers have reportedly been arrested, abducted and tortured in Ethiopia during December 2015: Hawi Tezera, Jireenyaa Shifarraa and Bilisummaa Dinquu. Hawi Tezera, an ethnic Oromo singer, was reportedly beaten, arrested, released and then rearrested in the space of just seven days in December 2015 by Ethiopian government security forces in connection with […]
  • Burundi: Musician shot by police

    The Burundian singer and musician Pascal Treasury Nshimirimana was arrested and shot by police on 3 January 2016, according to BBC Afrique and RFI. The 27-year-old singer, also known as Lisuba (also spelled: Lissouba), was arrested by the police in the morning and was later found dead in Musaga, a neighbourhood south of the capital […]
  • Uzbekistan: Musicians regulated to conform to ‘national values’

    Uzbekistan’s government has ordered the state agency in charge of giving licenses to performers to tighten conditions under which they are granted, citing a plethora of pop songs, videos and concerts that fail to conform to the “country’s spiritual, cultural and national values”, according to Transition Online and BBC News citing the local media Gazeta. […]
  • Vietnam: Release of musician after four years in prison

    Authorities in Vietnam have freed prominent musician Vo Minh Tri from prison after serving his full four-year sentence for writing politically sensitive songs, which he said he has “no regrets” about composing. Tri, a 37-year-old drummer who is also known as Viet Khang, was released early on Sunday 13 December 2015 and driven by police […]
  • India: Singer prosecuted for song critical of state government

    Arrested for singing a song critical of the government of the South Indian state Tamil Nadu, folk singer and activist Kovan has now been released on bail. His arrest is part of a larger crackdown on activism and freedom of expression, reports Lakshimi Sarah At the end of October 2015, the 52-year-old singer S. Kovan […]
  • Morocco: Prosecuted rapper cleared of all charges

    The Moroccan rapper Al Muntaqim was arrested in August 2015 accused of inciting violence and drug abuse through his song ‘Korsika’. On 9 December 2015 the court cleared him of all charges. In August 2015, the Public Prosecution at the Court of First Instance in Khenifra city in Morocco instructed the judicial police to immediately […]
  • Freemuse Newsletter no 5 / 2015

    News and knowledge about musical freedom of expression. Music, Conflict and Culture in Mali: Three years after the music ban Three years after the music ban it’s hard to ascertain precisely what effect the ban has had on a country where music has long been the milk, blood and water of daily existence. The answer […]
  • Iran: Music distributors await appeal decision for six years in prison

    Two musicians and a filmmaker who were jointly sentenced to six years in prison and fined 200 million toman (about USD 66,650) each for “insulting the sacred” and “propaganda against the state,” are awaiting a ruling by a Tehran appeals court, according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Mehdi Rajabian, a musician […]
  • Algeria: Attack on famous raï singer’s concert thwarted

    According to Morocco World News, Alarabiya and other media, Algerian authorities are searching for three terrorists who attempted to target Annaba Theatre, a theatre in the north-eastern city of Annaba, where raï singer Cheb Khaled was performing on 9 December 2015. A separate report by Russia Today cited Algerian media sources as saying that the Algerian army […]
  • Mali: Three years after the music ban

    When the religious music ban in the northern part of Mali was lifted in 2013, Andy Morgan wrote the book ‘Music, Conflict and Culture in Mali’. Here is his account of what has happened in the country since then. By Andy Morgan One of the accusations often levelled at the West is that distance has […]
  • China: Concert with North Korean band cancelled

    The North Korean pop group Moranbong Band was scheduled to perform in Beijing, China, on 12 December 2015 to cultivate ties between the two countries, but their concert was abruptly cancelled without explanation a few hours before they were to have entered the stage at the city’s National Centre. A concert with the North Korean […]
  • France post-November 13: Musicians shocked but defiant

    The massacre at the Bataclan concert hall spreads fear and generates financial losses but also determination to carry on. Daniel Brown reports from Paris two weeks after the attacks “Vive la musique, vive la liberté, vive la France, and vive EODM.” Eagles of Death Metal By what eerie twist of fate did the three assaillants […]
  • Angola: Rapper MCK barred from leaving the country

    The Angolan immigration services have barred the rapper MCK from leaving Luanda’s International Airport. He was invited to perform at a rap festival in Brazil on 26 November 2015, reported Rafael Marques de Morais from Angola. Immigration officials told MCK that they had ‘superior orders’ to prevent him from leaving the country, MCK told Rafael […]
  • Freemuse Newsletter no 4 / 2015

    » View the newsletter on mailchimp   France two weeks after: musicians shocked but defiant   Almost 90 people were killed when terrorists attacked the Bataclan Music Club in Paris on 13 November. Several concerts were cancelled in the aftermath of the terror attacks. But what are the long term effects of the massacre? Daniel Brown […]
  • United Kingdom: Film on Mali music ban leads to new fund

    Freedom of expression campaigners Index on Censorship and the producers of the documentary film ‘They Will Have To Kill Us First: Malian Music In Exile’ have launched a Music In Exile Fund along with a song playlist and a series of articles about music and censorship. The aim of the Music In Exile Fund is […]
  • Mexico: Musicians abducted, one killed

    After midnight of 17 November 2015, the narcocorridos band Los 4 Herederos was attacked in the town of Taray in the state of Jalisco. One of the musicians was killed. An armed commando in three trucks intercepted the band’s pickup truck and violently kidnapped the members of the band as they were on their way […]
  • Cuba: Gorki Águila arrested again

    Cuban musician Gorki Águila was arrested on 7 November 2015 in Havana, as he was traveling in a car with two journalists from the television channel France24, reported 14ymedio. The composer and singer managed to call the newspaper from the Fifth Police Station in the Playa municipality, where he was taken with the two reporters. […]
  • France: Deadly terror attack at rock concert in Paris

    Over 80 rock music concertgoers are reported to have been shot dead in Paris. On 13 November 2015, 1,500 fans were attending a concert with the Californian rock band Eagles of Death Metal at the popular music venue Bataclan in Paris, France, when it was attacked by terrorist gunmen, and concertgoers were taken hostage.  
 The attack took place […]
  • Turkey: EU and UN address Turkey’s troublesome arts freedom record

    Significant shortcomings in the promotion of democracy and human rights feature highly in the European Commission’s 2015 Progress Report on Turkey, which points to ‘significant backsliding’ on protection of freedom of expression in the last two years after several years of progress. By Sara Whyatt   The report refers to a worrying number of writers […]
  • New fellowships for threatened artists

    On 11 November 2015, The Artist Protection Fund launched its inaugural round of online applications for threatened artists from every artistic discipline. With the fellowship, artists who are facing threats to their lives and/or practice can find temporary support through placements at host universities and arts centers anywhere in the world where they can continue […]
  • UNESCO focus on artistic freedom

    Artistic freedom will be in focus at two UNESCO events in Paris in November and December 2015. Freemuse Director Ole Reitov has been invited to take part in both events as a panellist and expert. On Friday 13 November 2015, Denmark, Norway and Sweden together with UNESCO’s Secretariat will organise a discussion panel on efforts […]
  • UNESCO report: Visas and logistics vex artists

    A new UNESCO analytic report on the status of the artist, published in September 2015, focuses on four key areas that are affecting artists’ social and economic situations today: digital technologies and the Internet, artist mobility, social protections, and freedom of artistic expression. As the world continues to change with its advances in technology and […]
  • Tunisia: Musicians confronted with censorship and repression

    Of Tunisia’s entire artistic community, the musicians – and in particular urban rappers – have borne the brunt of the state’s censorship and repression. A wide legal arsenal has been used to drag musicians into court and throw them unceremoniously into gaol. By Daniel Brown     ARTSFREEDOM | INSIGHT In Tunisia, there are two kinds […]
  • Iran: 26 popular singers banned from performing

    The Intelligence Ministry banned 26 popular musicians and singers from performing in Iran after their music was aired by networks abroad, IranWire reported citing an investigative piece from Etemad newspaper published on 19 October 2015. The head of the music department at the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance confirmed that letters were sent to […]
  • Canada: Religious festival petitions to reverse ban

    More than 20,000 people have signed a petition urging the City of Toronto and its mayor to allow an annual open-air musical festival to continue in August 2016, after the city didn’t grant the festival a permit because it would contravene city policy against “proselytising.” The issue for the city is that the group sings […]
  • China/Tibet: Musician released from prison

    Chinese authorities had sentenced Pema Rigzin to two and a half years in prison, but released him after 11 months. After his release, a crowd welcomed him home. Freemuse welcomes the release of Pema Rigzin (also spelled: Rigdzin). “Many Tibetan singers produce songs about issues of concern to a majority of the population,” said Ole […]
  • UAE: Heavy metal concert cancelled

    The Belgian Death Metal band Aborted have been forced to cancel their upcoming concert in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The band’s concert was going to take place on 30 November 2015 at The Music Room, but due to complaints about the band’s lyrics, themes and videos, the government allegedly ordered the promoter to cancel their […]
  • Zimbabwe: Censorship board should be abolished, says workshop group

    Zimbabwe should abolish the censorship board and other bodies censoring or regulating artistic expressions in order to comply with Zimbabwe’s new constitution. Instead a new classification board should be mandated to issue age recommendations to protect children. This was a recommendation made by arts practitioners, artists, journalists and human rights lawyers at a workshop on […]
  • China: Malaysian rapper told to make no controversial statements

    The Malaysian rapper Namewee (real name: Wee Meng Chee) has become the latest to join a growing number of artists and brands facing limitations on their performance in China. Namewee posted a statement on Facebook on 19 October 2015 that he had been forced by his Hong Kong concert promoter to declare that he wouldn’t […]
  • Morocco: Rapper prosecuted over song deemed insulting

    The Moroccan rapper Al Muntaqim was arrested in August 2015 and accused of inciting violence and drug abuse through his song ‘Korsika’. He has since been released, but his court case is still pending. In August 2015, the Public Prosecution at the Court of First Instance in Khenifra city in Morocco instructed the judicial police […]
  • Tunisia: Rapper Klay BBJ released from custody

    The Tunisian rapper Klay BBJ was released from custody on 21 October 2015 after having been detained over the weekend on suspicion of “possession and use” of cannabis, his lawyer was quoted as saying by various media. Freemuse welcomes the news which was confirmed by Freemuse’s partner in Tunisia, CIHRS. “He has just been released, […]
  • Tunisia: Calls for the release of arrested rapper Klay BBJ

    On 17 October 2015, the public prosecution of the Court of First Instance in Tunis permitted National Security officers in Bab Swika district to arrest the rapper Klay BBJ (real name: Ahmed Ben Ahmed) along with two other men. They were allegedly apprehended for possession of drugs. The news agency AFP quoted a judicial source […]
  • India: Pakistani singer’s concerts cancelled after protests

    Two concerts by the veteran Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali scheduled in the Indian state of Maharashtra were cancelled by the organizers after a regional Hindu right-wing party took exception to the events. The Shiv Sena, a Hindu nationalist party that is part of the coalition government in Maharashtra State, asked the organisers to cancel the […]
  • Turkey: Election board bans AK Party campaign song

    In September 2015, the Supreme Election Board (YSK) imposed a ban on broadcasting the AK Party’s campaign song for the 1 November election on the grounds of “abusing religious symbols in the name of politics”. According to Today’s Zaman and other Turkish media, the ban was issued after the Republican People’s Party’s deputy Mahmut Tanal […]
  • Angola: Freemuse calls for immediate release of detained rapper

    On 15 October 2015, the 33-year-old Angolan rapper Luaty Beirão entered his fourth week of hunger strike in protest of his detention without trial since June – along with 14 other opposition activists accused of ‘rebellion’ and of seeking to ‘attack the president’. Freemuse holds the Angolan authorities responsible for Luaty Beirão’s well-being and calls […]
  • Uganda: Singer’s ‘pornography’ prosecution

    In February 2014, the Ugandan government implemented a new pornography law – the Anti-Pornography Act. Half a year later, in September 2014, the 20-year-old Ugandan pop singer Jemimah Kansiime published a music video for which, under the new law, she was arrested and prosecuted. In May 2015, the story went around that world that Kansiime […]
  • Somalia: Regional court orders four singers released from custody

    Somaliland Informer reported on 30 September 2015 that a Hargeisa regional court has ordered the release of the four detained Horn Star singers who were arrested as they four days earlier had returned from a tour to Somalia’s capital Mogadishu. Court chairman Hon. Ahmed Dalmar Ismail has issued a formal statement saying the police have […]
  • Egypt: Resolution against revealing clothing and “vulgar” lyrics

    Egypt’s Musicians’ Union bans artists from wearing “indecent” clothing and using “vulgar” vocabulary on stage and television in a resolution passed at the end of August 2015. Hani Shaker, the newly elected head of the union, aims to continue to promote Egyptian art, but not at the expense of the country’s morals and customs, thus […]
  • Somalia: Four musicians reportedly arrested

    Four musicians from the Hargeisa-based Horn Stars band were arrested upon their arrival at Egal airport in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, reported BBC Somali along with several Somali news websites. The musicians were returning home after a tour with performances in Nairobi and Mogadishu. It is currently not clear what should have been the […]
  • Burundi: Musicians menaced, silenced and fleeing the country

    Burundian artists are confronted with ever-shrinking possibilities for open and free political speech. Well-known singers and band members are being targeted and, if possible, manipulated to change their artistic or political style. Several musicians have fled the country. By John Banram, Freemuse correspondent – reporting from Burundi Fear of being assassinated is spreading among artists […]
  • Syria: Fleeing civil war, piano player travels towards Germany

    AFP’s Rana Moussaoui and NBC News’ Jacob Rascon have published new reports of what further happened to 27-year-old piano player Aeham al-Ahmad, whose piano was burned by jihadists in April 2015 after his songs of hope amid the rubble of Syria’s largest Palestinian camp had become a social media sensation. Like tens of thousands of […]
  • UN: Right to artistic freedom of expression reaffirmed

    The universal right to artistic freedom of expression was reaffirmed at the United Nations Human Rights Council on 18 September 2015. Those who suppress artistic expression fear its transformative effect. This was one of the messages delivered when 53 states at the 30th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on 18 September 2015 […]
  • Burkina Faso: Music studio in capital bombed after coup

    Studio Abazon in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, was attacked in the early hours of 17 September 2015, allegedly targeted by coup soldiers because of the activism of its owner, rapper Smockey. The studio is owned and run by top Burkinabe rapper and revolutionary artist, Serges Martin Bambara – also known as Smockey (or […]
  • Belarus: Banned musician surprises Minsk metro travellers

    Lavon Volski, one of the most famous rock artists in Belarus, made a surprise performance in the metro of Minsk, the capital of Belarus, on 14 September 2015. Lavon Volski is banned from performing in Belarus. But returning from a performance in United Kingdom where Lavon Volski teamed up with Freemuse, Ramy Essam, Deeyah and […]
  • Tajikistan: Mandatory wedding music rule to counter religious music ban

    In the Tajik village of Chorkhuh, a conservative pocket of the predominantly Muslim country Tajikistan, wedding music has been frowned upon for years and frequently replaced with Islamic readings by mullahs. But that situation is about to come to an end, if the powers that be get their way, reported Radio Free Europe / Radio […]
  • India: Religious group issues fatwa against composer A. R. Rahman

    A Muslim group in India has issued a fatwa against the Indian musician and composer A. R. Rahman and the Iranian film director Majid Majidi. A Sunni-Muslim group in Mumbai called the Raza Academy has issued the fatwa in protest against Majidi’s film ‘Muhammad: Messenger of God’ – Iran’s most expensive ever movie with a […]
  • Sweden: Proposal for Eurovision to focus on freedom of expression

    City of Stockholm should not only take part in organising the Eurovision Song Contest in May 2016, but should also pay special attention to freedom of expression for musicians and vocalists in the world. This is what the liberal party Folkpartiet in Stockholm has suggested in a letter to the city’s department of culture. “It […]
  • USA/Algeria: Heavy metal music keeps stirring up controversy

    Heavy metal bands continue to face bans and controversies around the world. In the United States, two scheduled concerts with an Australian deathcore group have been cancelled. In Algeria, heavy metal fans have been accused of Satanism in a tv programme, causing an uproar in social media. Whenever and wherever heavy metal has appeared on […]
  • Azerbaijan: Russian opera star banned

    Foreign nationals who took part in the concert of internationally renowned Russian opera singer Lyubov Kazarnovskaya in the city of Hankendi (Stepanakert) in Nagorno-Karabakh on 2 September 2015 have been placed on the list of undesirable persons, head of the press service of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Hikmet Hajiyev said. In early July 2015, Azerbaijan’s […]
  • China: Government blocks American rock band over Tibet issue

    Chinese fans of the American rock band Bon Jovi have been given a taste of bad medicine after authorities pulled the plug on plans for the group’s first concerts in the country. The band were scheduled to perform in Shanghai Monday 14 September 2015 and in Beijing the following Thursday. It is believed the concerts […]
  • Egypt: movie song banned by the Egyptian censorship authorities

    The Egyptian Artworks Censorship Board has postponed the display of a movie called ‘4 play cards’, starring the popular young electro Sha’abi singers Oka & Ortega, according to The Egyptian Today. Sha’abi is a relatively new Egyptian music style, a kind of ‘electronic folk’. The movie was initially planned to be released in Cinema in […]
  • Malawi: State broadcaster bans song for its “political message”

    Francis Kalawe’s newest music video ‘Dzuka Malawi’ has been banned from showing on state broadcaster MBCtv, reported Nyasa Times. Sources at the government-controlled tv station said producers were ordered to stop playing the video because “the message was very strong and sensitive to government”. ‘Dzuka Malawi’ came out on 19 August 205 and was first […]
  • Breaking news: United Kingdom grants visa for Ramy Essam after all

    The UK Immigration service has changed their original decision to refuse Egyptian singer Ramy Essam entry visa to the UK. On Monday, Freemuse disputed the refusal, and Kerry McCarthy, Labour MP for Bristol East, and her office took contact to the home office requesting the decision. During Tuesday morning additional information and documents were provided, […]
  • Russia: Music portal banned

    The Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor has banned online music portal Last.fm for offering the song ‘Kill a cop’ (‘Ubey menta’) by the Russian alternative rock band Psychea, according to the Calvert Journal. The chorus of the song reads: “Beat me, trample me, cut me to pieces — I’ve gone completely insane. The situation is getting […]
  • Iran and Israel: United in opposition to Daniel Barenboim concert

    The conductor Daniel Barenboim’s efforts to lead the Berlin Staatskapelle at a concert in Tehran drew criticism from the Israeli culture minister, who called the performance “anti-Israel”, and a rebuff from Iranian officials, who said that they would block the concert because of Mr. Barenboim’s Israeli citizenship. A spokesman for Iran’s Culture Ministry was quoted […]
  • Malaysia: Youths arrested during music gig

    163 youths, including a photographer from The Malaysian Insider, were detained by the police on 28 August 2015 while watching a Bersih music countdown at the independent punk music venue Rumah Api in Ampang Jaya, according to Malaysian Insider and other sources. According to one of those detained, Aizuddin Ismail, everyone was brought to the […]
  • Algeria: Moroccan songs banned from radio airwaves

    According to Morrocco World News and other sources, the Algerian news website Algerie Patriotique reported that local radio stations in July 2015 found in their headquarters a note from the General Directorate of National Radio that read: “We’d like to bring to your attention that all the Moroccan songs are totally banned from air play.” […]
  • United Kingdom: American rapper banned because of lyrics

    The 24-year-old American rapper Tyler, the Creator says he has been banned from the United Kingdom because of the nature of his lyrics. The Odd Future co-founder recently cancelled four dates in the UK and Ireland and tweeted that it was because the UK authorities were unhappy with his subject matter: BASED ON LYRICS FROM […]
  • Freemuse Newsletter no 3 / 2015

    » View the newsletter on mailchimp Musicians are fleeing Burundi Burundian artists are confronted with ever shrinking possibilities for open and free political speech. Well known singers and band members are being targeted and, if possible, manipulated to change their artistic or political style. Several musicians have fled the country. Freemuse reports from Burundi. → Read the […]
  • United Kingdom: Freemuse Award winner Ramy Essam refused visa

     UPDATE ON 2 SEPTEMBER 2015: United Kingdom grants visa for Ramy Essam after all   The Egyptian singer and Freemuse Award winner Ramy Essam has been refused a visit visa to the United Kingdom. He was supposed to take part in the Festival 800 in Lincoln on Saturday 5 September 2015 as part of the full […]
  • Cuba: Freemuse calls for the release of imprisoned artists

    The Cuban graffiti artist and activist Danilo Maldonado Machado, best known as El Sexto, who has been arbitrarily imprisoned for eight months in the Valle Grande prison, located west of Havana, has initiated a hunger strike, according to El Nuevo Harald and various other sources. El Sexto was arrested on 25 December 2014 while he […]
  • United Kingdom: Listen to the banned in Lincoln

    Festival800 in Lincoln, UK, and Freemuse present banned artists on stage, inspired by the Freemuse-Deeyah album production ‘Listen to the banned’ ‘Listen to the banned | Music to make dictators tremble and fundamentalists fume’ is a full day programme curated and developed by Festival800 in partnership with Freemuse. Celebrating the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the […]
  • Nigeria: New list of songs banned by the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission

    The Nigerian Broadcasting Commission NBC has wielded its hammer on songs of Nigerian artists, which the body feels are not appropriate for the Nigerian airwaves. » The full list of 18 songs can be found here: www.nigeriafilms.com » See also: www.nigerianbulletin.com UPDATE ON 19 SEPTEMBER Musician: “Ban makes little or no difference” The Nigerian hip-hop rapper […]
  • Turkey: Iconic folk singer reflects on art and politics

    “My youth was spent from one prison term to another. Imagine! You are not a murderer, you did not steal from anybody. But you are in prison! Why? Because you are a singer. Regardless, I never regretted the music I made in that period. Not once. And if I were to return to those days […]
  • Spain: Row over canceling of Jewish US musician’s festival performance

    The Jewish-American reggae singer Matisyahu was initially cancelled by the organisers from performing at the Rototom Sunsplash music festival in Benicássim in Spain on 22 August 2015 after he refused to make a statement outlining his position on Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians. Due to the growing controversy over the ruling and complaints from Israel […]
  • Freemuse opportunities Freemuse currently has one vacancy and two calls for editors and writers for reports: Freedom of Artistic Expression Programme Officer (part-time), Southeast and Eastern Europe Call for editor & writers: Report on women’s right to artistic freedom Call for editor & writers: Report on the effects of fundamentalism and extremism on artistic freedom […]
  • China: 120 songs banned for promoting obscenity and violence

    On 10 August 2015, China released a blacklist of songs claiming they promote obscenity or violence and ordered website administrators to remove them from their sites, according to Xinhua News Agency. The order from the Ministry of Culture accompanied a list of 120 songs that trumpeted “obscenity, violence, crime or harmed social morality”. The list […]
  • Cuba: Cuban rocker Gorki Aguila arrested

    According to Capital Hill Cubans and other sources, Castro regime officials showed up on 5 August 2015 at the home of Cuban rocker Gorki Aguila and arrested him. According to his daughter, Gorki Aguila was given no cause for his arrest Aguila, front-man of the band Porno Para Ricardo, recently authored a song in honor […]
  • China: US pop group banned because of a tweet

    The US pop group Maroon 5 have felt the wrath of China’s stringent government policies, getting banned from entering the country allegedly after posting a tweet showing support for the Dalai Lama. The group’s Beijing and Shanghai concerts scheduled for September 2015 as a part of their larger Asian tour were cancelled with no official […]
  • North Korea: House-to-house searches to confiscate banned music

    The North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has issued a decree demanding the destruction of tapes and CDs that could threaten the regime, reported Daily NK. Concerned about possible threats to his regime, the North Korean leader has reportedly ordered music censorship to be extended, banning not only foreign songs but local tunes too, sources inside […]
  • Iran/Lebanon: Artists affected by conflicts

    When conflicts unfold between and within countries, artists’ rights to artistic freedom of expression are often violated. Recently, artists have been affected by the ongoing conflicts between Israel and Lebanon as well as between Israel and Iran. Singer banned in Iran after performance in Israel The Iranian-born British Muslim singer Sami Yusuf, whose records have […]
  • Somalia: Musician released after one day in detention

    On 2 August 2015, SLInformer reported that Police in Hargeisa, Somaliland, had arrested the popular musician Nimcaan Hilaac shortly after he returned home from a journey to Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. On 3 August, only a few hours after Freemuse and local websites published the news about his arrest, he was then released. Nimcaan […]
  • Morocco: Rapper El Haqed – besieged, alienated and oppressed

    Freemuse interview with the Moroccan rapper El Haqed, who was awarded with the 2015 Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Award for Arts. By Shaima Aly Mouad Belghouat (also spelled: Belrhouate) is better known under his artist name, El Haqed – the now world-famous Moroccan rapper and human rights activist who criticises the widespread poverty […]
  • Chile: Former military officers charged in 1973 murder of Víctor Jara

    Víctor Jara was a popular folk singer, and also a theatre director, poet, political activist and communist party member. He was murdered by the Chilean military – shot 44 times in the basement of an indoor stadium during Chile’s 1973 coup. 42 years later, ten of the alleged perpetrators have been called to face justice after a […]
  • Gambia: Rapper forced to flee after song criticising president goes viral

    A few days after Gambian rapper Killa Ace (real name: Ali Cham) released a song critical of the Gambian regime, he started receiving threats that lead him to flee the country. In the song, entitled ‘Ku Boka C Geta G’, Killa Ace speaks against social injustices, oppression, corruption and lack of freedom of expression under […]
  • Russia: Musicians protest against illegal police detentions

    “Police is attacking artists, taking them to police stations, confiscating their instruments, giving them court summons, and the courts then appoint huge fines based on various articles, depending on their imagination,” wrote Oleg Mokryakov, a leader of one of the music collectives playing on Arbat street, on his Facebook page. On 28 June 2015 those […]
  • Turkey: The disconnect between what is said and what is done

    Copenhagen, 9 July 2015 | Out of 278 recommendations for improvements in human rights put forward, the Turkish government accepted 215 as Turkey’s second Universal Periodic Review by the United Nations Human Rights Council came to a close on 26 June. Turkey rejected key recommendations to amend or abolish laws which are used to unfairly […]
  • Tunisia: No investigation into attack on rapper

    How freedom of expression is oppressed through financial, moral and psychological pressure and damages is Tunisian rapper Hamadi Dia’s story. Today, Freemuse publishes his account of what he is going through because of the music and lyrics he produces. By Shaima Aly, Freemuse “Those groups succeeded in their mission to shut me up and get […]
  • Egypt, Lebanon: Trance music boycotted for Israeli collaborations

    German trance music producer and DJ Paul Van Dyk has had his new album ‘The Politics of Dancing 3’ banned in Egypt, Lebanon and several other countries in the Middle East, allegedly because it was produced in collaboration with Israeli producers. Paul Van Dyk, one of the world’s most famous trance artists, made a point […]
  • India: Film makers threatened to remove song from film

    The makers of the film ‘Guddu Rangeela’ have reportedly been threatened by religious groups that if they don’t remove the song ‘Mata Ka Email’ from their film, they risk facing “dire consequences”, including disruptions at the theatres. In Ludhiana, there has been demonstrations demanding a ban to be put on the film, and posters of the film […]
  • Saudi Arabia: Concert with mixed gender audience cancelled

    A concert scheduled for 6 May 2015 at the major Jeddah Amasy concert hall was cancelled by authorities, according to the daily Saudi newspaper Ajel. Apparently the concert audience was planned to be of ‘mixed gender’, which incited an opposition campaign against the concert on social media. The event was to feature the popular young […]
  • Turkey: Court reverses Governor’s ban on concert in Istanbul

    The famous Turkish folk music band Grup Yorum celebrated its 30th anniversary with a concert in Istanbul on 28 June 2015, even though the first two attempts to organise this concert earlier in the year were banned by the Istanbul Governor’s Office. The ban was eventually reversed by a court decision, so that on 28 […]
  • Azerbaijan: Call for American singer to stand up for political prisoners

    “Lady Gaga’s surprise appearance in Baku, Azerbaijan, where she performed at the opening ceremony of the inaugural European Games, drew immediate condemnation from the international human rights community — as well it should,” wrote Global Post’s Rebecca Vincent. “Lady Gaga’s appearance was a stark contrast to Bono’s impassioned appeal for the release of Azerbaijani political […]
  • DR Congo: Ivorian reggae singer denied entry in airport

    Côte Ivorian reggae singer Tiken Jah Fakoly and his band were denied entry in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where they were due to perform at the Jazz Kif Festival on Sunday 21 June 2015. According to Reuters, a spokesman of the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo announced on 20 June 2015 that […]
  • Morocco: Police blocks concert with rapper El Haqed

    On 19 June 2015, a concert with the Morrocan rapper El Haqed was called off with 48 hours notice by the police in Casablanca. Right before the beginning of the show, Police allegedly blocked streets leading to the venue and asked the local power provider to cut electricity. The concert was organised at L’Uzine, a […]
  • Morocco: Rapper found dead

    The Moroccan rapper Rifinox (real name: Husain Belkich) was found dead on 22 March 2015 after having been missing for over two weeks. He was reported missing by his family on 2 March 2015, when he did not return from going shopping in the neighbourhood. His decomposed body was found by a group of hikers […]
  • Australia: Transgender musician bashed in Sydney live music venue

    Sydney musician Stephanie McCarthy was allegedly bashed in Newtown’s Town Hall Hotel on 12 June 2015 as she was waiting to go on stage to perform with her band, Love Maul. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Stephanie McCarthy was approached by five males who began to verbally and physically abuse her, by pulling her […]
  • Indonesia: Punk music and Shari’a law

    Punks face the tightening grip of Shari’a law in north Sumatra. This is documented in ‘Street Punk! Banda Aceh’ – a film about a punk community that refuses to die. Freemuse asked the film’s production team, director Maria Bakkalapulo and producer Niall Macaulay to tell about the struggle. By Maria Bakkalapulo and Niall Macaulay Punk’s […]
  • Zambia: Singer Pilato detained and prosecuted for song about president

    In Zambia, the popular satirical singer Pilato (real name: Chama Fumba) is being prosecuted because of a song he wrote, entitled ‘Alungu Anabwela’. Officials said the song defamed President Edgar Lungu by accusing him of drinking too much and being incompetent. Police said that the song could “provoke public clashes”. Pilato was arrested on 8 […]
  • Afghanistan: Musicologist and Taliban bomb victim returns to Kabul

    On 25 May 2015, the British newspaper The Guardian published an article which brings an update on what happened with Dr Ahmad Sarmast, a music professor who founded the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, and who was seated in the front row when, on 11 December 2014, a suicide bomber attacked the French cultural centre […]
  • Lebanon: Controversial singer threatened by The Al-Nusra Front

    According to iaanews.com, the leader of the Al-Nusra Front in Syria, Abdula Al Muhaisini, has sent a message to the controversial Lebanese singer Fadl Shaker warning him against “resuming his singing career”. The warning came after Fadl Shaker has re-appeared on the public scene roughly two years after joining hard-line sheikhs and announcing his retirement […]
  • Egypt: Ministry of Education bans ‘Mahrajant’ folkloric music at schools

    According to the independent Egyptian newspaper El Fagr, the Ministry of Education in Egypt has sent an instructive letter to all governorates’ educational departments stressing that no musical tones or songs can be played in classrooms unless it has been pre-approved by the Ministry to be used in the educational process. Dr Nesrin Helmy, assistant […]
  • Morocco: Rapper speaks out after release from prison

    After four months behind bars, the Moroccan rapper Abdul Mou’men Al Shuaibi was released in February 2015. Freemuse spoke with Al Shuaibi about his ordeal and his plans for the future.  Back in 2013, Al Shuaibi had released a rap song, entitled ‘zan9a lkahla 2013 Chorta Fe Lara’ criticising the local police, their alleged violent practices […]
  • Singapore: Music video banned for its pro-LGBT content

    According to Global Voices and Focus Taiwan, the Taiwanese pop songstress Jolin Tsai’s song and her musicvideo ‘We’re All Different, Yet The Same’ has been banned from broadcast in Singapore. The Singapore government’s Media Development Authority has confirmed that it advised local broadcasters in Singapore not to air the music video because of ‘mature content’. […]
  • Russia: Pussy Riot appeals to European court

    According to Moscow Times on 25 May 2015, two members of the female protest group Pussy Riot have appealed to the European Court of Human Rights after Russian police failed to prosecute a group of men who attacked them with a whip and pepper spray in front of witnesses in 2014. Pussy Riot members Nadezhda […]
  • Freemuse Newsletter no. 2 / 2015

    News and knowledge about musical freedom of expression.         View this email in your browser     Freemuse launches advocacy and campaign guide Artists around the world face threats, attacks and imprisonment. Some are forced to flee into exile. To help organisations and individuals decide how to support artists at risk, Freemuse has created an […]
  • Freemuse presents: ‘From Zombies to Revolutionaries’

    Music is the Weapon… of the Present! Middle East’s Revolutionary Artists meet Fela Anikulapo Kuti One was beaten, one was imprisoned, all have been questioned by the police and most are facing censorship. But their music cannot be stopped. Freemuse is proud to present a unique track with a group of today’s most powerful Arab […]
  • France: 100 censored songs

    Censorship of one form or the other has been a feature of the French music scene. Surprisingly, no books in French have ever been published on this question. Until, that is, a young French radio producer and a historian and law specialist joined forces to bring out the book ‘100 Chansons censurées’ – about 100 […]
  • Zimbabwe: South African musicians receive death threats

    Members of the legendary kwaito group Big Nuz are fearing for their lives amidst threats of violence by angry Zimbabweans. The group was set to perform in the neighbouring country on 17 April 2015 but have been receiving threats of a boycott and violence from Zimbabwean nationals. Big Nuz is the latest South African group […]
  • USA: Rapper censored at Billboard Music Awards

    When Kanye West closed the Billboard Music Awards on 16 May 2015 ABC censored more than a minute of the rapper’s performance, leaving some viewers to wonder if the sound had cut out. Kanye West was onstage for 5 minutes and 18 seconds, though sound was only available to home viewers for 4 minutes and […]
  • Turkey: 19-year-old singer attacked after threats

    After appearing on the Turkish talent show Sesi Çok Güzel on national tv, the 19-year-old singer Mutlu Kaya reportedly received death threats and was attacked in her home, reported Agence France-Presse and Hurriyet on 18 May 2015. The assailant fired a bullet into the house through a back window in the garden, and Mutlu Kaya […]
  • Iran: Radical website calls for murder of musician

    On 1 May 2015, the ultra-conservative Iranian website Aba Shohada website announced a reward of approximately $155,000 for anyone who would blow up the concert venues of German-based Iranian musician Shahin Najafi. According to the US based organisation International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, the threat is being addressed by the German police and […]
  • Egypt: Authorities refuse to grant visa to Palestinian singer

    In February 2015, the Egyptian authorities refused to grant the Palestinian singer Rim Banna a visa to enter the country, when the artist was planning to give a concert, reported Tahrir News. According to Rim Banna’s comments on her Facebook page this was the second time she was refused an entry visa to Egypt. “Egypt […]
  • Lebanon: Armenian concert cancelled in Tripoli

    An Armenian concert scheduled to be held at the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Tripoli on 25 April 2015 was cancelled out of fear that it would be used to attack Turkish policy against Armenian people in the past and thus provoke Turkey. According to As-Safir, one of Lebanon’s leading daily newspapers, The […]
  • Turkey: 10 months imprisonment for dancing to Kurdish songs

    Semra Getiren Gören has been charged with 10 months imprisonment for participating in a meeting organised on the World Peace Day in Bursa where she danced the ‘halay’ accompanied by Kurdish songs, reported antenna-tr.org. Semra Getiren Gören and 16 of her friends reportedly stood trial with the allegation of having been “dancing the halay accompanied […]
  • Turkey: Music video under criminal investigation

    Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office Press Offences Bureau has started an examination of a music video prepared by Art Assembly member artists with the slogan “Stop life on 11 March for Berkin,” for the memory of Berkin Elvan, who died nine months after being injured during the Gezi Park protests. The artists who prepared the […]
  • Syria: ISIL burns music instruments of ‘Peace Ambassador’ artist

    On 17 April 2015, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) burnt the musical instruments of the young Palestinian pianist Ayham Al Ahmad, reported Syria Live Network. Ayham Al Ahmad is well-known for his music expressing the tragedies of the Syrian war, which he has performed amid the devastated buildings in the Yarmouk Palestinian […]
  • Egypt: National Security issues lead to cancellation of sold-out double-concert

    Daily News Egypt reported that a cultural festival called ‘Bab El-Shams’ (‘The Door to the Sun’) in Alexandria, which featured the two bands Massar Egbari and Cairokee, was cancelled because National Security would not issue an official permission. “To attend a concert by Massar Egbari or Cairokee is currently a milestone amongst Egypt’s youth, because […]
  • Turkey: Young Kurdish singer imprisoned

    Al Jazeera has published a video by a Turkish-Kurdish filmmaker about the Kurdish singer Nûdem Durak. The singer’s future is uncertain, because the Turkish government allegedly has convicted her to 10.5 years imprisonment for “promoting Kurdish propaganda”, according to Al Jazeera. Published on Youtube on 30 April 2015 Maker of the documentary film, Eylem Kaftan, […]
  • Syria: Islamic State issues ban on songs by American singer

    The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) has distributed many leaflets in Syria to prohibit youth from listening to the songs of the American singer Madonna, reported Al Arabiya, MBC and over 40 other news providers and websites. ISIL stated that Madonna’s songs are ‘haram’ (forbidden in Islam), since […]
  • Kuwait: Concert with American singer cancelled

    A concert with the American singer Akon was scheduled to be held on 11 April 2015, but was cancelled after more than 9,000 tweets with the hashtag #Stop_Saturday_Concert_in Kuwait (in Arabic language) called for a cancellation of the concert. The discussion on Twitter became a heated debate between Kuwaiti citizens about social and religious values […]
  • France: Verdict of three years imprisonment to rapper in Marseilles

    The court in Marseilles summoned the French-Algerian rapper Lacrim (real name: Karim Zenoud), but he didn’t show up in court. He was consequently given status as a fugitive and sentenced in absentia to three years imprisonment. Lacrim was charged in court because of the video for his song ‘Viens, je t’emmène’, in which he uses […]

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