• Iran: Musician and filmmaker brothers released from prison, await appeal

    Freemuse has learned that Iranian brothers and artists, musician Mehdi Rajabian and filmmaker Hossein Rajabian, were temporarily released on bail from Tehran’s Evin Prison on 22 June 2017. On 23 June 2017, Mehdi Rajabian made the following post on his Instagram page: Our incarceration has almost been suspended at this stage after bail payment and […]
  • In prison for a year in Iran; artists call for musician’s and filmmaker’s release

    COPENHAGEN / NEW YORK, 1 June 2017 | Two Iranian artists will have been in prison for a full year on 5 June, sentenced for their peaceful artistic expressions. Today, artists and supporters of artistic freedom from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East called for their release in a public letter sent […]
  • 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 […]
  • Iran: Musician and filmmaker attacked and threatened in prison

    On 5 March 2017, the Center for Human Rights in Iran reported that musician Mehdi Rajabian and filmmaker Keyvan Karimi have been beaten and threatened by other inmates in Tehran’s infamous Evin Prison while being imprisoned in the ward for political prisoners. According to the organisation, authorities are violating the law by refusing to move […]
  • 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 […]
  • Iran: Band banned from festival due to women singing solo

    Kurdish band Dayrak Khatoon was banned from performing at the International Festival of Tribal Music in Kermanshah, in western Iran, due to the band including women who also sing solo, reported Kurdistan Human Rights Network on 22 January 2017. The organisation reported that a critical article was published in Marsad News accusing the band of […]
  • Iran: Imprisoned filmmaker granted 72-hour medical leave, back in prison

    Freemuse has learned from its sources that filmmaker Hossein Rajabian was granted a 72-hour medical leave earlier in the week to address health problems that have grown worse while in prison. Hossein was taken back to prison after the three days were up. Hossein and his musician brother Mehdi had been on a second hunger […]
  • Iran: Imprisoned musician’s health deteriorating

    Imprisoned Iranian musician and music distributor Mehdi Rajabian communicated via social media on 3 December 2016 that his health condition continues to worsen, despite him being granted a four-day furlough for medical treatment. In his Instagram post from 3 December, Mehdi said: They want me to go back to Prison tomorrow, while I haven’t been […]
  • Iran: Imprisoned musician granted four-day medical leave

    Musician Mehdi Rajabian, after being on hunger strike for 30 days demanding he and his brother receive much needed medical attention, was given a four-day medical furlough on 27 November 2016, according to an Instagram post the musician posted on 28 November 2016. His filmmaker brother Hossein, who also needs medical assistance, remains in prison. […]
  • United Nations member states urge Iran to improve human rights

    Eighty-five United Nations (UN) member states voted on 15 November 2016 calling upon Iranian authorities to take real steps in correcting its human rights record. The resolution builds upon last year’s adopted resolution where Iran accepted 130 recommendations made to its human rights record and practices stemming from the second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process […]
  • Iran: Artists’ medical condition on hunger strike growing worse

    Musician Mehdi Rajabian and his brother, filmmaker Hossein Rajabian, began their second hunger strike on 28 October 2016, since being imprisoned on 5 June 2016, demanding they receive a medical furlough for their increasingly severe medical conditions, which are growing more severe as a result of the hunger strike, reported International Campaign for Human Rights […]
  • Iran: Musician sentenced to five years in prison and 74 lashes

    On 5 November 2016, Iranian singer Amir Tataloo (real name: Amirhossein Maghsoodloo) was sentenced to five years in prison and 74 lashes after being found guilty of “spreading Western immorality”, reported Al Bawaba on 6 November 2016. The singer’s original sentence was for ten years and 74 lashes, but the time term was reduced in […]
  • Iran: Artists call for support in letter from prison

    “We urge all artists from around the world to show their protest and criticism against all of this [being denied legal rights and medical attention], in a peaceful way, worthy of an artist,” wrote artists Hossein Rajabian and Mehdi Rajabian in a letter from prison. “Stand by our side and [don’t] forget us, because being […]
  • Iran: Jailed artists go on hunger strike

    According to Freemuse sources, musician Mehdi Rajabian and his brother, filmmaker Hossein Rajabian, have gone on hunger strike as of 7 September 2016 to protest against prison authorities not granting Mehdi a promised furlough to seek medical attention for a spreading infection and for separating them by moving Mehdi, while still ill, to the section […]
  • Iran: Concerts in the crosshairs

    Religious conservatives in Iran have been tightening control over the nation’s cultural and moral values ever since the 2013 election of liberal President Hassan Rouhani and the 2015 nuclear deal, amidst fears that the country will lose its values to Western influences. Art, especially music and live concerts, has become one such target for religious […]
  • Iran: Musician arrested on charges of “spreading depravity”

    Authorities arrested Iranian singer Amir Tataloo (real name: Amirhossein Maghsoodloo) on 23 August 2016 on charges of “spreading depravity among the youth” brought up in an 8 August 2016 judicial order, reported Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty on 25 August 2016. “Sadly, this latest imprisonment of Amir Tataloo is not an isolated case. Iranian governmental and […]
  • UN: “Artistic expression is not a crime” – Special Rapporteurs urge the Iranian government to free jailed artists

    On 24 June 2016 the two United Nations Special Rapporteurs on cultural rights, Karima Bennoune, and freedom of expression, David Kaye, issued a statement calling on Iranian authorities to free musicians Mehdi Rajabian and Yousef Emadi, and filmmaker Hossein Rajabian. The statement was also endorsed by the Special Rapporteurs on Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, and torture Mr. […]
  • Iran: Eight producers arrested for “obscene” music videos

    Eight producers of music videos broadcasted on Persian-language satellite networks outside Iran have been arrested, reported Iranian judiciary news agency Mizan Online on 28 May 2016. According to Tehran prosecutor general Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi the videos were “obscene” and “broadcast on a famous anti-revolutionary television channel” and added that a special court for media and […]
  • Iran: Musician and filmmaker imprisoned

    According to Freemuse sources, musician Mehdi Rajabian and his brother, filmmaker Hossein Rajabian, were imprisoned for their art on 5 June 2016. They have been convicted to three years imprisonment. Please help us in getting the charges dropped against the two artists and freeing Mehdi and Hossein by taking action and sharing the video below and using the […]
  • Iran: Two musicians and a filmmaker summoned to prison

    A summons order issued on 27 May 2016 by Iranian authorities requires musicians Mehdi Rajabian, Yousef Emadi and filmmaker Hossein Rajabian to turn themselves in to prison by 31 May 2016 to serve out their three-year sentences. The summons orders them to report to the Office of the Prosecutor at Tehran’s Evin Prison. “Art is […]
  • Iran: Concerts cancelled under pressure from religious conservatives

    This article on cancelled concerts and the nebulous state of artistic freedom due to opposing viewpoints between religious conservatives and the government in Iran was originally published by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran on 19 May 2016, who have kindly allowed Freemuse to republish it here: Concerts of Popular Iranian Musicians Cancelled Due […]
  • Iran: Banned music legend may sing again

    Mohammed Reza Shajarian has been known as Iran’s “king of singing” for his renditions of classical poems and religious prayers; however, since he publicly supported the Green Movement against Ahmadinejad in June 2009, Shajarian found himself the victim of a nation-wide ban, unable to perform live or release music. Now, at 76, Shajarian has announced, […]
  • 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 […]
  • Music Freedom Day: Musician sentenced to imprisonment sells instrument to pay fine

    The freedom to express oneself through art is a human right to be rejoiced. Today is Music Freedom Day, a day to celebrate musicians, their songs and the fans and audiences who enjoy their craft and performances. But also on this day, we bring attention to the many musicians who are not able to practice […]
  • Iran: Two musicians and a filmmaker sentenced

    Branch 54 of the Tehran Appeals Court has issued their final judgment on Mehdi Rajabian, Hossein Rajabian and Yousef Emadi, sentencing each of the three artists to three years in prison, three years probation and a 200 million rial (about  USD 6,600) fine, reported the Human Rights Activists News Agency on 29 February 2016. According to a source of […]
  • 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 […]
  • Iran: Singer banned from tv and festival

    Salar Aghili has been banned from appearing on Iranian television and performing in the country’s Fajr International Music Festival, reported human rights organisation journalismisnotacrime.com on 26 January 2016. The famous singer was banned due to his appearance on Manoto TV, a Persian-language satellite channel based in London. Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ali Jannati […]
  • Iran: 165 Iranian artists and activists protest charges against two musicians and a filmmaker

    165 Iranian musicians, filmmakers, writers and activists have signed and released a statement objecting to the 2013 imprisonment and 2015 sentencing of Mehdi Rajabian, a musician and founder of BargMusic, an alternative music distributor in Iran, along with his filmmaker brother Hossein Rajabian and musician Yousef Emadi. All three have been sentenced to six years […]
  • Call on Iranian authorities to drop charges on two musicians and a filmmaker

    Human rights organisations Freemuse and the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, along with 14 other organisations, protest the 2013 imprisonment and 2015 sentencing of musicians Mehdi Rajabian and Yousef Emadi, and filmmaker Hossein Rajabian, and call on the head of the judiciary and other Iranian authorities to drop the charges against them. Mehdi […]
  • Iran: Musicians call for lifting concert ban

    A group of musicians and artists have written to the governor of the Razavi Khorosan province in northeastern Iran to remove the ban on music concerts in Mashhad, the province’s capital and the country’s second most populous city, reported Radio Zamaneh. The musicians and artists state in the letter that the current ban will lead to […]
  • Iran: Album by prominent musician denied distribution

    Majid Derakhshani’s latest album ‘Khoroosh’ will not be distributed in Iran, reported Payvand Iran News. The album, which translates to ‘Roar’, is comprised of Derakhshani’s music sung by Mojtaba Asgari and was tied up in legal red tape for over two years before the denial was issued. Further, the Ministry of Guidance’s security department has […]
  • 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 […]
  • Iran: Songwriter and poet released

    Iranian songwriter and poet Yaghma Golrouee was released on bail from detention on 9 December 2015 after being arrested on unclear charges on 30 November 2015, according to the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA). Though the reason behind the arrest is still unknown, it is thought that Golrouee was detained in response to his new […]
  • Iran: Songwriter and poet arrested

    Iranian songwriter and poet Yaghma Golrouee was arrested on 30 November 2015, according to the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA). Details on the reason behind the arrest or where Golrouee was taken are still unknown and unclear. According to journalismisnotacrime.com in 2013 one of Goulrouee’s poems was used by controversial Iranian rapper Shahin Najafi, who […]
  • Iran: Concert cancelled for having female musicians

    A concert by the Tehran Symphony Orchestra was cancelled at the last minute on 29 November 2015 because some of the musicians were female, reported The National.  The orchestra was due to play in Tehran before the World Wrestling Clubs Cup competition and was stopped from performing as it was readying itself to play the […]
  • 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 […]
  • 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 […]
  • 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 […]
  • 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 […]
  • 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 […]
  • Iran: Film about singer who outwitted ban on women singing solo

    Nothing like it had been attempted in Iran for 35 years. The Iranian singer and composer Sara Najafi proposed hosting a concert in Tehran – “a festival of the female voice” featuring solo singers. “Since the 1979 revolution, women in Iran have been banned from singing solo. So what happened when this woman decided to […]
  • Iran: Prominent musician banned from traveling abroad

    The Iranian musician and composer Majid Derakhshani says authorities are preventing him from traveling abroad. Majid Derakhshani told the Iranian daily Etemad on 5 January 2015 that security officials confiscated his passport at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport over the weekend while he was on his way to Dubai. Derakhshani quoted the officials as saying he […]
  • Iran: Ministry announces permanent ban on hip-hop concerts

    According to MTV, citing The Jerusalem Post, a spokesperson for Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance said hip-hop concerts are now against the law in the country unless approved by the ministry through a lengthy process. This ban will continue indefinitely. “This music encourages wild behavior that could have a detrimental effect on society,” […]
  • Iran: Rapper arrested in Mashhad

    Underground rap singer Hossein Eblis was arrested in Mashhad on 15 December 2014. Security forces confiscated several of his musical instruments and sound equipment, reported IranWire, quoting Khorasan Newspaper. According to a police report, Hossein Eblis, 27, frequently mocked the language of authorities in his songs, many of which contain obscenities. The arrest followed a […]
  • Iran: 20-year-old musician’s reality check: oppression persists

    “Rights for musicians are extremely weak in Iran”, wrote Tooka Zokaie, a 20-year-old Iranian-American piano teacher and speech coach who travelled to Iran and unintentionally broke the law: “When I went to Iran this summer, almost everything I participated in related to music was illegal. I played piano to male audiences, participated in underground concerts […]
  • Iran: Three arrested for music video of men and women singing and dancing

    Iranian police have arrested three people who appeared in an online video of young men and women singing and dancing in support of the country’s World Cup football team, the official IRNA news agency reported on 23 June 2014. The music video was produced by the London-based Ajam Band and features scenes from outside and […]
  • Iran: Female musicians banned from stage in Isfahan

    Female musicians are not allowed to go onstage and give live performances in Isfahan. Mohammad Qotbi, the head of the Isfahan Culture and Guidance administration and also a member of the clergy, compared music bands to the national football team, saying that just as there are substitutes for players on the football team, music groups […]
  • Iran: An indie rock band can play once but not twice

    In-depth article by Sune Engel Rasmussen, a journalist based in Tehran, about censorship and the arts in Iran. Excerpts: “For Iranians, negotiating the barriers of censorship is in itself an art form. Film directors, in particular, have long been masters of bending the rules, using metaphors and symbolism to subtly inject criticisms against the system […]
  • Iran: Signals of growing musical freedom of expression

    With women singing on stage and a playlist of Western pop songs sung in English during performances of ‘The Last Days of March’ in Tehran, Iranian musicians are breaking new ground, reported Scott Peterson for Christian Science Monitor. Musicians and actors say that Iran’s culture space has opened up noticeably under the centrist President Hassan […]
  • Freemuse to the United Nations: Iran discriminates women artists

    Iran should eliminate discrimination against women artists and abolish censorship of artistic expressions, stated Freemuse in its submission to the United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review of Iran in March 2014. For decades the Islamic Republic of Iran has put severe restrictions on the right to freedom of artistic expression. Although the country in 2010 during […]
  • Iran: Unusual sight of musical instruments on state tv

    On 1 February 2014, musical instruments were shown on Iranian state tv for the first time in three decades. Tv-viewers in Iran found themselves rubbing their eyes in disbelief when a morning programme on state tv broadcast a group of musicians playing traditional Persian instruments, reported The Guardian. For many it was the first time […]
  • Iran: Poets released on bail

    PEN International and Freemuse welcomes the release on bail on 14 January 2013 of poets and lyricists Fatemeh Ekhtesari and Mehdi Moosavi. They had been held in Evin Prison since 7 December 2013, apparently for their critical writings, no formal charges against them are known. No further action is required at this stage although PEN International […]
  • Iran: Freemuse and PEN protest arrest of poets

    PEN International and Freemuse protest the arrest of poets and lyricists Fatemeh Ekhtesari and Mehdi Moosavi, who have been held in Section 2A of Tehran’s Evin prison since 7 December 2013, apparently for their critical writings. They are feared to be at risk of torture and ill-treatment and there are mounting concerns for their well-being. […]
  • Iran: Two songwriters and poets arrested

    On 7 December 2013 the two Iranian lyricists and poets Dr. Mehdi Moosavi and Fateme Ekhtesari were arrested by the Security Department of Iran Revolutionary Guards. It is generally believed that they were arrested maybe because of their lyrics which have been performed by a famous Iranian singer in exile, Shahin Najafi. Many of their […]
  • Iran: Artists launch petition to end suppression of musicians

    In a letter addressed to Iran’s Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ali Jannati, a group of Iranian musicians, music principals, and supporters have asked him to end the suppression of musicians and music professionals and to ensure that artists are not imprisoned for producing artistic works. The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, […]
  • Iran: Musician and music distributors arrested

    Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps arrested three men involved in the production, distribution, and promotion of Iranian underground music in October 2013, a source with knowledge of the arrest told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Musician Mehdi Rajabian, his brother, and Yousef Emadi, who managed BargMusic, were arrested on 12 October 2013 in […]
  • Iran: Popular rapper arrested by Morality Police

    Iran’s Morality Police have arrested popular rapper Amir Tataloo. Colonel Massoud Zahedian, Chief of the Morality Police, told ISNA that his unit is actively identifying and confronting Iranian underground musicians who produce their work inside Iran and distribute it on television satellite channels abroad. Zahedian added that following the arrest, Amir Tataloo (real name: Amirhossein […]
  • Iran: Will Culture Minister lift ban on women singing solo?

    The Iranian Ministry of Culture has indicated that it may lift the ban on women singing solo in front of mixed audiences, which has been forbidden since the 1979 revolution. “Some religious authorities have said that so long as solo singing by women does not lead to corruption, it is admissible,” Jannati reportedly said in October. […]
  • Iran: Azeri musician and rights activist arrested

    Azeri musician and Azeri rights activist Hassan Damirchi was arrested at home in Tabriz in order to serve out a six-month prison sentence handed down by the revolutionary court in Tabriz following his conducting music lessons without approval and in secret, participation in national meetings inside and outside Iran, fundraising, and ties with isolationist parties […]
  • Iran: Over 200 rock fans arrested at heavy metal concert

    On 16 August 2013 Iranian authorities arrested over 200 fans at a heavy metal concert with the band Dawn of Rage. Police raided the concert without any explanation despite organisers having received a permit from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance sanctioning the event. The concert took place in Shahrak Gharb, an affluent neighborhood […]
  • Freemuse speaks at Human Rights Council

    On 3 June 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland, Freemuse made its first oral statement in the Human Rights Council of the United Nations. Commenting on the newly launched UN report on artistic freedom and creativity, Freemuse Programme Manager Ole Reitov said: “The problems faced by artists are well described. Your analysis of the negative effects on […]
  • Sweden: ‘Impossible Music Sessions’ in Stockholm

    On 11 June 2013, music written by the censored artists Pussy Riot and Arya Aramnejad will be interpreted and presented in the Swedish capital Stockholm by the artists Jennie Abrahamson, Linnéa Olsson and Love Antell. The concert, entitled ‘The Impossible Music Sessions Stockholm Session #1’ is organised by SKAP, the Swedish Society of Popular Music, […]
  • Iran: Report from Tehran where banned tunes thrive

    “Cab rides in Tehran reveal how many flout the rules banning music genres including metal, R&B, hip-hop and kooche-bazaari,” wrote the British newspaper The Guardian on 7 May 2013. The anonymous writer of the article in The Guardian mentions that Iman Hojjat — one of five Tehran musicians who were arrested in January 2013 on charges […]
  • Iran: About 230 people arrested during a ‘satanistic’ music event

    ARTICLE ##PagePublishedLong## Iran:About 230 people arrested during a ‘satanic’ music event The news agency Reuters reports that more than 200 people were arrested during a police raid on an underground rap and rock concert in Iran. The raid was a part of an annual summer crackdown on “immoral behavior”. In Iran, alcohol as well as […]
  • Iran: ‘Rap-e-Fars’ – Persian rap and the Iranian rap scene

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran:Persian rap still illegalIn May 2007, the web site World Music Central published an article about rappers in Iran. Amir Azizmohamadi describes the Persian rap, ‘Rap-e Fars’, as “underground, unofficial, and illegal”. However, the Persian rap scene is alive and kicking – vigorous and musically stunning. ‘Rap-e-Fars’ is very popular among Iranian teenagers. […]
  • Iran: ‘Unveiled: Art and Censorship in Iran’

    ARTICLE ##PagePublishedLong## Iran:’Unveiled: Art and Censorship in Iran’ Excerpt from Chapter 8 in the report ’Unveiled: Art and Censorship in Iran’, published by Article 19 in September 2006. Chapter 8 is about music in Iran Shahkar Binesh-Pajouh is a lecturer with a doctorate in urban planning, who blends rap music with Persian classical poetry to […]
  • Googoosh: Iran’s Daughter

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Googoosh: Iran’s DaughterThe film by Farhad Zamani tells the story of Googoosh – Iran’s pop diva, who is still banned from performing in her homeland. Googoosh was Iran’s most famous and beloved pop diva, until she was silenced following the 1979 Islamic revolution when female singers were labeled “temptresses” and forbidden to release records […]
  • Iran: Cancellation of several pop concerts

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran: Cancellation of several pop concerts A new wave of concert cancellations started from Tehran and has spread throughout the country, reported Small Media from London. Just one hour before it was scheduled to start, a concert of traditional music by Salar Aghili was cancelled in Hamedan. According to media reports, a local […]
  • Iran: Report about cultural censorship in Iran

    ARTICLES AND REPORTS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran: Report about cultural censorship in Iran The condition of culture in Iran is moving towards what can only be described as a ‘state of emergency.’ This report, published by Small Media in 2011, addresses some of the major concerns in the fields of literature, cinema, theatre and music in Iran […]
  • Iran: Banned Israeli Persian-language album gains popularity

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran: Banned Israeli Persian-language album gains popularity The music of Rita Jahan-Foruz — an Iranian-born, Israel-based singer — is becoming increasingly popular in both Iran and Israel, as tensions grow between the two countries. 50-year-old Rita Jahan-Foruz’s music is banned in her birthplace Iran where any music whose singing, performance or distribution is […]
  • Iran: Exiled Iranian musician responds upright to death threats

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran: Exiled Iranian musician responds upright to death threats This interview with Shahin Najafi and G Related reading on freemuse.org
  • Iran: Singer Arya Aramnejad once again in prison

    CAMPAIGN NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran: Singer Arya Aramnejad once again in prison Singer Arya Aramnejad has once again been imprisoned. In the end of December 2012, he was requested to present himself in a prison, and the artist is now serving a 91 days sentence. Freemuse has — once again — protested against the imprisonment of the […]
  • Iran: International artists support imprisoned Iranian musician

    CAMPAIGN NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran: International artists support imprisoned Iranian singer In a letter to the Iranian authorities, world renowned artists join Freemuse in a protest against the imprisonment of their Iranian colleague Arya Aramnejad.   The artists’ appeal letter [PDF] Singer Lapiro de Mbanga, who successfully ran a case against Cameroon in The United Nations […]
  • Iran: The nations’ top singer opted for a life in exile

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran: The nations’ top singer opted for a life in exile Marzieh was a celebrated interpreter of traditional Persian music whose career in her native Iran was silenced by the clerical dictatorship. In exile in France she became a sharp voice of political dissent. With a repertoire of 1,000 songs spanning classical and […]
  • Iran: Musicians are losing hope

    ARTICLES ##PagePublishedLong## Iran:Musicians are losing hope While on tour in the US, members of the Iranian electronic rock band The Casualty Process spoke with Jamie Kim about being censored and suppressed by Iranian religious authorities, and expressed what their participation in the Impossible Music Sessions in New York had meant to them. In a question-and-answer […]
  • Freemuse campaign: Singer Arya Aramnejad released from prison

    CAMPAIGN NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran: Singer Arya Aramnejad released from prison Less than two weeks after a group of international artists joined Freemuse in a campaign for the release of the Iranian singer Arya Aramnejad, who was given 91 days prison sentence, he was able to leave the prison. Allegedly, according to Freemuse’s sources, he was […]
  • Iran: Singer Arya Aramnejad arrested again

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran:Singer Arya Aramnejad arrested again On 8 November 2011 singer Arya Aramnejad was arrested when his home was raided by intelligence agents. According to news agencies and bloggers, Arya Aramnejad was beaten by the agents, handcuffed and then taken to an unknown location. The violent arrest of singer and composer Arya Aramnejad took […]
  • Iran: Arya – the Victor Jara of my homeland

    ARTICLES ##PagePublishedLong## Iran:Arya – the Victor Jara of my Homeland The Aljazeera website recently ran an article which suggested the Arab Spring has also realised the magical power of music, so much so that it is voicing its protest through different styles of music, from folk music to Hip Hop. This is how a singer […]
  • Iran: Singer Arya Aramnejad prosecuted for his songs

    CAMPAIGN NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran: Singer Arya Aramnejad prosecuted for his songs Freemuse has received information that Iranian authorities started new prosecution against the popular 28-year-old Iranian singer Arya Aramnejad, who was recently released after his second term in prison. The singer has allegedly received information that he has been given a one-year prison sentence. Security […]
  • Iran: Death sentence against Iranian rapper in Germany

    CAMPAIGN NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran:Death sentence against Iranian rapper in Germany After the exiled Iranian rapper and rock guitarist Shahin Najafi released a controversial song entitled ‘Imam Naghi’, an Iranian cleric issued a death sentence (fatwa) against him, a news site in the country started a campaign calling for his assassination, and a religious site issued […]
  • USA/Cuba: Impossible Music Session 4 – Not appearing: Escuadr

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## USA / Cuba:‘Impossible Music Session’ no 4 – Not appearing: Escuadrón Patriota Friday 10 June 2011 at 8:00 PM in Pfizer Auditorium in Brooklyn, New York, USA In Cuba, hip-hop artists who uphold “revolutionary” doctrine are supported by the government’s Rap Agency. Those who don’t are barred from state-controlled media and subject to […]
  • Iran: Government bans famous Ramadan singer

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran: Government bans famous Ramadan singer The 70-year-old singer Mohammad-Reza Shajarian’s beloved Ramadan song ‘Rabbana’ is banned by the Iranian authorities, reported Karen Zarindast from Iran in a video clip for the BBC. In August 2010, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty reported the same, but at that time the Iranian state television official […]
  • Iran: How they rocked in Tehran before the revolution

    ARTICLES ##PagePublishedLong## Iran: How they rocked in Tehran before the revolution “The sun is not going to stay behind the clouds forever,” said Kaveh, a musician in Vancouver, Canada, who is the son of an Iranian guitar hero of the 1970’s, Kourosh, in an interview with Los Angeles Times. In her article about music in […]
  • Iran: New music censorship law

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran:New music censorship law Mohammad Mirzamani, the General Director of the Music Office in the Ministry of Culture in Tehran, told that a new music censorship law is being prepared by the ministry concerning how to receive permission for performing a concert or publishing a music album. According to the new censorship law, […]
  • Iran: Petition in support of 26 year-old Iranian musician

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran:Petition in support of 26 year-old protest musician On 1 October 2010, an online petition in support of Iranian singer Arya Aramnejad was started. After the first two weeks, over 800 people had signed the petition. The 26 year-old musician was imprisoned and held in solitary confinement for singing his famous song ‘Ali […]
  • Iran: Iranian authorities inspired by the Nazis?

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran: Iranian authorities inspired by the Nazis? ‘Degenerate music’ (Entartete) was a term used by the Nazis in Germany in the 1930s to describe certain forms of music. The same term is increasingly being adapted by Iranian authorities. According to Tehran-Emrouz, an Iranian daily newspaper, Tehran’s chief of police Hossein Sajedi-Nia has revealed […]
  • Iran: Music from ‘below the radar’ distributed on free CD

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran:Music from ‘below the radar’ distributed on free CD From a country where music is sometimes considered a crime, a compilation of underground rock, hip-hop and heavy metal music, compiled by the music centre Bar-Ax, was published as a free bonus-CD with the April-May 2010 issue of the British music magazine Songlines, no. 67. The […]
  • Iran: 80 young people arrested at illegal concert

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran:80 young people arrested at illegal concert Iranian police detained 80 young men and women for “lustful pleasure-seeking” activities at an illegal concert, Tehran’s chief prosecutor was quoted by ISNA news agency as saying. Public prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi was quoted in the Kayhan newspaper on 7 May 2010 as saying that moral […]
  • Iran: Authorities warn about punishments for playing banned music in taxis

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran:Authorities warn about punishments for playing banned music in taxis If taxi drivers play banned music in their taxis, it could lead to cancellation of their taxi permit and confiscation of their cars, warned a government official. This was reported to Radio Free Europe by Golnaz Esfandiari. Rasul Abbasi, the director-general for transportation […]
  • Iran: No teaching of music in private schools

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran:No teaching of music in private schools Teaching music in state schools is already prohibited in Iran. Now, the music ban also applies to Iran’s 16,000 private schools where 1.1 million students no longer are allowed to use any musical instruments, including those played in traditional Iranian music. This was reported in an […]
  • Iran: Supreme leader discourages music

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran:Supreme leader discourages music Music is ‘not compatible’ with the values of the Islamic Republic, announced Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei on 2 August 2010. While the Ayatollah acknowledged that music is ‘halal’ (lawful) he emphasized it was not in tune with the finest religious principles of the Islamic Republic, reported the British […]
  • Iran: Concert banned because of presence of women musicians

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran Concert banned because of presence of women musicians Iranian authorities have cancelled a concert of traditional Iranian singer Homayoun Shajarian because two members of the band are women, the ISNA news agency reported. Homayoun Shajarian is the son of Mohammad Reza Shajarian – a legendary singer in Iran. Homayou has performed with […]
  • Iran: Music gives hope

    ARTICLE ##PagePublishedLong## Iran: Music gives hope In Austin Dacey’s article about the underground music scene in Iran, members of the exiled rock band Kiosk share their insight into the system of music censorship in Iran “The entire music industry in Iran is run by the Lalezar mafia, which is tied to the Ershad (Ministry of […]
  • Iran: Five-year prison sentence for performance of Koranic verses

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran: Five-year prison sentence for performance of Koranic verses The Iranian singer Mohsen Namjoo has been sentenced to five years in prison for disrespecting religious sanctities — luckily in absentia, as he is living outside the country now. Mohsen Namjoo (also spelled: ‘Namju’) is a singer and composer who has been likened to […]
  • Iran / UK: ‘The exile factor’ in The X Factor tv show

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran / United Kingdom:‘The exile factor’ in The X Factor tv show After numerous arrests, the Iranian singer Behrouz Ghaemi fled Iran to pursue his singing dream in the United Kingdom. On 29 August 2009 he became famous overnight there when he impressed the judges of the tv-show ‘The X Factor’, watched by […]
  • Iran: 12 ‘satanist’ musicians reportedly arrested in Orumiyeh

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran: 12 ‘satanist’ musicians reportedly arrested in Orumiyeh On 25 October 2009 the news agency Reuters India quoted an Iranian newspaper which reported that 12 musicians accused of promoting satanism had been arrested in northwest Iran. “A number of people in the city of Orumiyeh who engaged in the promotion of satanism through […]
  • Iran: More than 20 musicians banned from radio

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran: More than 20 musicians banned from radio Government-owned radio stations in Iran have been ordered to stop broadcasting certain singers’ music and certain songs, reported Ilna and Iran Human Rights Voice. The censorship list is reported to contain names of artists such as: Ali LahrasbiAlireza AfsharAlireza AssarAlireza EftakhariEhsan Khajeh-AmiriEsmailzadehFataali OvaisiFeraydoun AseraeiGolshanHossein ZamanKambiz […]
  • Iran: Film about Iranian music censorship awarded, musicians exiled

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran: Film about Iranian music censorship awarded The Iranian film ‘No One Knows About Persian Cats’ was awarded in the ‘Un Certain Regard’ section of the Cannes Film Festival. But two of the musicians which it features now must go in exile. ‘Nobody Knows About the Persian Cats’ was created by the 40-year-old […]
  • Iran: Film about music censorship shown on Cannes Film Festival

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran: Film about music censorship shown on Cannes Film Festival A new feature film about music censorship in Iran features the underground rock band Mirza, the rapper Hichkas, as well as other musicians of varying styles from Persian pop and folk to heavy metal, and women who are banned in Iran from public […]
  • Iran: Rock concert raided, 104 arrested

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran: Rock concert raided, 104 arrested A concert in the southern city of Shiraz was raided by an Islamist militia, and 104 people arrested, on the grounds of being ‘immoral’, reported the state-run daily newspaper Jam-e Jam on 27 May 2009. Jam-e Jam newspaper carried pictures of drum sets and amplifiers seized in […]
  • Iran: Musicians respond to the crisis

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran: Musicians respond to the crisis Despite a general ban on most forms of popular music by the Islamic government in Iran, rock music has become one of the most vibrant forces for critiquing the various ills of Iranian society, writes music researcher Mark Levine Mark Levine is in close contact with numerous […]
  • Iran: Rock band tells its story of censorship and imprisonment

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran:Rock band tells its story of censorship and imprisonment The indie-rock band Font were imprisoned in Iran merely for performing their style of music. The band is currently in London on six month artist’ visas. In August 2007, the members of the rock band Font were thrown into prison for 21 days after […]
  • Human Rights for Musicians – Impressions & Descriptions: Mahsa Vahdat

    PUBLICATIONS TEN YEARS WITH FREEMUSE IMPRESSIONS & DESCRIPTIONS Mahsa Vahdat Singer, Iran Singing is a blessing A voice that finds its way to the arteries of life, Now flowing like a whisper by a baby’s cradle, Now like a lover, perhaps standing against the rays of a future, A blessing indeed, is singing . I […]
  • Iran: 13 musicians arrested in Isfahan

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran: 13 musicians arrested in Isfahan Brigadier general Mer-Abbas Sofivand, local head of the State Security Forces, told the daily newspaper Kayhan that 13 musicians have been arrested, and 90 CDs seized by police in Isfahan. “The group was composing and recording songs in the basement of a house in Isfahan,” Mer-Abbas Sofivand […]
  • Iran: Setar master openly critised ban on women vocalists

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran: Setar master openly critised ban on woman vocalists Mohammad-Reza Lotfi – a highly recognised musician thoughout Iran as well as the rest of the world – said at a press conference that he wishes to eliminate Iran’s prohibition on solo vocal performances by women, reported the Tehran Times. “I don’t believe in […]
  • Iran: Organiser of music concerts executed

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran:Organiser of music concerts executed On 4 August 2008, Yaghub Mehrnahad, a education activist, concert organiser and journalist for the Democracy Newspaper in Baluchistan, was executed, reported the International Federation for Human Rights and the World Organisation Against Torture. Yaghub Mehrnahad (also spelled: Ya’qub Mehrnehad, Yaghoob Mirnehad or Yaghoub Mirnahad) was an advocate […]
  • Iran: Organiser of music concerts sentenced to death

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran:Organiser of music concerts sentenced to death The death sentence on education activist and concert organiser Yaghub Mehrnahad highlights the situation in Iran where many live in risk of execution for expressing their views. Iran has one of the highest number of recorded executions of any country in the world, and the second […]
  • Iran: Gradual changes through modern technology

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran:Gradual changes through modern technology The daily pan-Arabic newspaper Ashark al Awsat reports that changes are introduced gradually among the citizens of Iran – despite official bans and censorship. The article describes how there are two worlds in the country – contradicting each other and yet existing side by side. Mohammed Hossien Saffar […]
  • Iran: Daniel Pearl: Status of music in Iran 2000

    LINK TO ARTICLE ##PagePublishedLong## Iran: Daniel Pearl: Status of music in Iran 2000 In this article Daniel Pearl describes the status of music in Iran. He interviews the Iranian pop singer Alireza Assar and composer Fouad Hejazi. The article was written for Wall Street Journal and was published in June 2000. “On the surface, this […]
  • Iran: Musician bypasses censorship on the internet

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran:Musician bypasses censorship on the internet To the Iranian artist IO the publishing of his album ‘Music Hall 151’ on 27 September 2007 is a victory over censorship. He could not have it published in Iran, but now instead, it is available world-wide via the internet IO (pronounced “eye-oh”) is the stage name […]
  • Iran: Official campaign against rap music

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran:Official campaign against rap music Iranian police have been instructed to close rap studios in an official nationwide campaign to stamp out “obscene” rap music. A similar crackdown on online access to rap music in Farsi langauge is in the cards, reports Agence France Presse and BBC News. In an attempt to maintain […]
  • Iran: Prohibition of music in holy city

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran:Prohibition of music in holy city In a speech in the official Friday prayer on 11 May 2007 the Imam of Mashhad banned practicing of music and ordered a closure of all music institutes in the city The Imam of Mashhad, Seyed Ahmad Alamolhoda, emphasised that he will not participate in ceremonies where […]
  • Middle East: Dossier on music, bans and censorship

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Publication:Issues of music censorship in the Islamic world The Internet portal Qantara.de has produced a dossier entitled ‘Middle Eastern Musical Worlds – Between East and West’. It includes issues of music bans and censorship in the region The dossier contains portraits of young Turkish and Arab pop stars and traditional musicians in Europe, […]
  • IASPM Conference 2007: Speech by Ole Reitov

    SPEECHES ##PagePublishedLong## Music Bans, Torture, Trials and MarginalizationFreemuse programme officer Ole Reitov’s speech at the 14th biennial conference held in Mexico by the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, IASPM. Friday 29 June 2007: Plenary popular and unpopular musics, 9:30 – 11:30By Ole Reitov, Freemuse In November last year Freemuse organised the 3rd World […]
  • Freemuse: Religious fanatics a threat to music

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Freemuse: Religious fanatics a threat to music “Religious fanatics in countries such as Iran, Pakistan, Switzerland and Poland are threatening the musical freedom of the world”, says Freemuse at a presentation at the current biannual conference for popular music researchers from the whole world held in Mexico City. By Freemuse Researchers Elijah Wald […]
  • Signature song for Music Freedom Day 2007

    CAMPAIGNS ##PagePublishedLong## Music Freedom DaySignature song for the Music Freedom Day Recorded for Freemuse and the Music Freedom Day, the emotional song ‘Navai’ features the Iranian singer Marjan Vahdat in a musical collaboration with the British guitarist Jason Carter. They first met and performed together at a Freemuse conference.  As a woman, Marjan Vahdat is highly restricted in […]
  • Iran: Six musicians arrested

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran:Six musicians arrested Authorities in Iran have reportedly detained at least six members of underground music bands during the past week and shut down their studios, Radio Farda reported. According to the radio station, at least two detainees who were taken into custody on 19 April 2007 have been freed on bail after […]
  • Iran: Forbidden rap album becomes a hit

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran:Forbidden album becomes a hit A new album made by the group Dalu mocks the Islamic Republic’s top clerics. It has taken the country by storm, reports Iran Focus Iranian youths, who make up more than two thirds of the total population of 68 million people, have taken a liking to rap music, […]
  • Iran: Gissoo Shakeri – “Voice of women who cannot sing”

    ARTICLE ##PagePublishedLong## Iran:Gissoo Shakeri: “My voice is the voice of the women who cannot sing” Singer Gissoo Shakeri works are banned in Iran, but her songs can be listened to freely over the internet. Below is an excerpt from an interview with Mary Lou Greenberg from the magazine Revolution, and lyrics from one of her […]
  • Iran: World premiere of film about music censorship in Iran

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran:World premiere of film about music censorship in Iran The documentary film on government censorship of music in Iran, ‘Sounds of Silence – Underground Music in Tehran’, had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in Manhattan, New York, on 26 April 2006 The documentary film by Amir Hamz and Mark Lazarz […]
  • Iran: Report about art and censorship in Iran

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran:Report about Iran’s rampant censorship on art “Artists self-censor in fear of risking harassment, arrest, flogging, or worse still, imprisonment,” states a new report about art and censorship in Iran. Also, a new magazine about human rights in Iran writes: “Censorship and self-censorship in Iran have reached their highest level” On 27 September […]
  • Iran: No more music download

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran:No more download of musicA new ban on high-speed internet will bar Iranians from downloading music to their computers and iPods In a blow to the country’s estimated five million internet users, service providers have been told by Iran’s Islamic government to restrict online speeds to 128 kilobytes a second and been forbidden […]
  • Iran: More than thirty concerts cancelled

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran:More than thirty concerts cancelled Iran is experiencing a cultural clampdown, reports Iran Press Service. In three months, from September to November 2005, Iran’s Ministry of Culture has cancelled more than thirty concerts in the country The ministry has also announced the cancellation of the Fajr Music Festival on the grounds that it […]
  • Iran: New ban on Western music in Iran

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## New ban on western music in Iran By ##PageSearchAuthor##, Freemuse Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has signed a decree banning all Western music that “does not conform to Islamic doctrines and the spirit of the Islamic Revolution”. The ban applies to state-run radio and TV. Television stations will only be allowed to broadcast relaxing […]
  • Mahsa Vahdat

    MAHSA VAHDAT(Iran) 02 September 2010 Singer Mahsa Vahdat from Iran talks about the religious ban on women singing in her country. Mahsa Vahdat, born in Tehran in 1973, was awarded with the 2010 Freemuse Award at a ceremony in London on 25 March 2010. She is strong defenders of freedom of musical expression and well-known […]
  • Iran: Rock artists struggle to breach cultural and bureaucratic barriers

    ARTICLES ##PagePublishedLong## Iran: Rock artists struggle to breach the cultural and bureaucratic barriers The Iranian culture ministry does not recognise rock music in its permitted music categories, and frequently rejects such work as culturally inappropriate, reported The Guardian’s Robert Tait from Teheran. But despite restrictions, rock bands in Iran still try to get a hearing. […]
  • Iran: Mahsa Vahdat – Singing in the absence of others

    ARTICLE ##PagePublishedLong## Singing in the Absence of Others The young musician and singer Mahsa Vahdat speaks with Naghmeh Taqizadeh from TehranAvenue about the challenges of being a woman in a society that has so many restrictions on female voice By Naghmeh Taqizadeh – nagh@tehranavenue.com Mahsa Vahdat is a young musician and singer who has worked […]
  • Iran: Concerts cancelled

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## ”The Most Problematic Art Form” in Iran “Music can be considered the most vulnerable and problematic art form in the Iranian history,” according to Shadi Vatanparast from the Iranian web-magazine Tehranavenue.com. He reports how the post-Islamic history of the country is rife with examples of musical oppression “The state has always tried to […]
  • Iran: Reviewer of music book sentenced to jail

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran: Reviewer of music book sentenced to jail Banafsheh Samgis, a cultural critic at the newspaper Iran, has been sentenced to jail for writing that the prophet Muhammed liked music played by women Banafsheh Samgis has been accused of “insulting and undermining the holy tenets of islam” and “distorting Islamic history” in a favorable review she […]
  • TehranAvenue – Link

    LINK ##PagePublishedLong## TheranAvenue Alternative online magazine about cultural life in the city of Tehran. Tries to focus on issues that established medias seldom cover. www.tehranavenue.com Related reading
  • Iran: Ministry rejects instrumental CD

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran: Ministry rejects instrumental CD The Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has rejected a 10-track instrumental album carrying the English title ‘Trails of the soul’ – with the reasoning that “Western rock is the product of drug addicts”. Robert Tait of the Guardian reports that, despite restrictions, rock bands in Iran still try […]
  • Popular Iranian singer Googoosh kept out of the US

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Popular Iranian singer Googoosh kept out of the US It was going to be another chance for fans to see the legendary Iranian singer named Googoosh, but the U.S.-led war on terrorism has had unintended consequences on Tehran’s most popular artists, who are finding it almost impossible to practice their craft in the […]
  • Iran: Women & music censorship

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran: Women & music censorship Background material on music and censorship in Iran“Under wraps on the stage: women in the performing arts in post-revolutionary Iran” (1998)Since the 1979 Revolution in Iran, women have been key contributors to contemporary Iranian cinema, and to a lesser extent theatre and music. Contrary to the Western belief […]
  • Iranian hardliners cancel embassy music concerts

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iranian hardliners cancel embassy music concertsTEHRAN, Oct 5 (AFP) – A series of concerts organized by foreign embassies in Iran have been cancelled at the last minute, apparently due to increased curbs on cultural events by the Islamic republic’s hardliners, diplomats said yesterday. Two jazz concerts organized by Italy’s embassy were cancelled last […]
  • Fresh Iranian bands ready to rock

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Fresh Iranian bands ready to rockA music competition aims at introducing new talent in the Islamic Republic. But when you live and work in the Islamic Republic of Iran, there are certain limitations, either subconscious or explicit, on forms of self-expression. Subjects such as censorship, quality, and who should be the judge turned […]
  • Iran: Lashes for loud music

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran: Lashes for loud music TEHRAN, Aug 8 (AFP) – The judiciary in the western Iranian province of Hamedan has ordered that anyone caught playing thumping tunes in their cars should be subject to jail terms or lashes, the official news agency IRNA said Sunday. “Playing any type of music loud in the […]
  • Women and Music Censorship – Past to Present

    ARTICLE ##PagePublishedLong## Women and Music Censorship – Past to Presentby Eva Fenn A summary of the restrictions women have had as singers, as composers and as instrumentalists from the Middle Ages until today, illustrated with individual examples Read the article as PDF Eva Fenn is BA-student in “Popular Music and Media”, Musikwissenschaftliches Seminar, University of […]
  • Iranian rapper talks a fine line

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iranian rapper talks a fine lineHe is more bow tie and suit than bling bling and Nikes, but Iran’s first rap performer is still managing to unnerve the Iranian religious authorities with his social criticism. Chart-topping Shahkar Binesh-Pajouh targets unemployment, poverty and westernised Iranian girls in his new album, which the culture ministry […]
  • Armenia / Iran: Banned live music thrives in neighbouring country

    NEWS Armenia / Iran: Banned live music thrives in neighbouring country During the Persian New Year holidays, posters advertising concerts by banned Iranian musicians can be seen all over Yerevan, capital of the ex-Soviet republic Armenia, reported AFP. More than 20,000 Iranians come to celebrate Nowruz, New Year, in Armenia, and tickets for Nowruz concerts […]
  • Freemuse Award 2010: Winners honoured in London

    NEWS 29 March 2010 Iran | Turkey:Freemuse Award winners honoured in London Freemuse Award winners 2010: Ferhat Tunç, with the award statuette created by Swedish glass designer Göran Wärff, and Mahsa Vahdat. Mahsa Vahdat and Ferhat Tunç, the joint winners of the Freemuse Award 2010, gave a short and impressive performance at the Index Awards […]
  • Freemuse Award winners 2010: Mahsa Vahdat and Ferhat Tunc

    NEWS 22 March 2010 Freemuse: Award winners 2010 are Mahsa Vahdat and Ferhat Tunç Iranian singer Mahsa Vahdat and Turkish-Kurdish singer and activist Ferhat Tunç are the 2010 Freemuse Award winners. The artist will receive the award at a ceremony in London on 25 March. Mahsa Vahdat fra Iran and Ferhat Tunç from Turkey are well-known […]
  • Press release: Freemuse Award winners 2010: Mahsa Vahdat and Ferhat Tunc

    PRESS RELEASE Freemuse Award winners 2010: Mahsa Vahdat and Ferhat Tunç Mahsa Vahdat from Iran and Ferhat Tunç from Turkey are well-known to many Freemuse associates. They are strong defenders of freedom of musical expression and well-known to audiences in Europe, where their music – unlike in their home countries – can be performed without […]
  • Iran: Trial against two Kurdish singers

    NEWS 21 November 2008 Iran: Trial against two Kurdish singers Two Kurdish singers are allegedly to be sentenced for ‘propaganda against the [political] order’, reported Shâr News — a local news agency from the predominantly Kurdish city of Saqqez in western Iran — on 17 November 2008 The musicians Seyyed Ali Hosseini and Mohammad Zarifiyan […]
  • Iran: Rap singer believed to be arrested

    NEWS 21 November 2008 Iran: Rap singer believed to be arrested Rap musicians are being persecuted in Iran, and the alleged arrest of rapper and singer Tataloo is debated in online Persian rap forums. Rumours says that Tataloo has received a three-year jail sentence. Rasmus Christian Elling, a PhD Fellow at Copenhagen University and the […]
  • Iran: ‘Half Moon’ – film about women’s right to sing

    FILMS Iran:Film about women’s right to sing ‘Half Moon’ is a feature film which talks of women’s right to perform in public, and to participate in the artistic development of a land They jump into an orange mini bus and begin the search for a female singer who will join their company – which is […]
  • 3rd Freemuse World Conference on Music and Censorship

    | Media coverage | Speakers | Programme | Photos | Video interviews |   3rd FREEMUSE WORLD CONFERENCE ON MUSIC AND CENSORSHIP     25-26 November 2006 in Istanbul, Turkey Professional musicians, scholars, and composers from 22 countries met at the 3rd Freemuse World Conference. Over two intensive days, they documented how music censorship is being […]
  • Speakers of the 3rd Freemuse World Conference

    | Start page | Media coverage | Programme | Photos | Video interviews |  3rd FREEMUSE WORLD CONFERENCEON MUSIC AND CENSORSHIP SPEAKERS AND MODERATORS Andy Fuller (Australia)Andy Fuller was born in 1977 in Melbourne, Australia. He completed his Master of Arts in 2004 at University of Melbourne. His thesis studied the politically subversive literature of […]
  • Programme of the 3rd Freemuse World Conference

    | Start page | Media coverage | Speakers | Photos | Video interviews |   3rd Freemuse World Conference on Music and Censorship   CONFERENCE PROGRAMME Latest update on 16 November 2006  SATURDAY 25 NOV   10:00 – 10:30 — OPENING CEREMONY —   MUSICAL WELCOME Mahsa Vahdat & Marjan Vahdat, Singers, Iran   WELCOME […]
  • Shoot the Singer! Book

    SHOOT THE SINGER! MUSIC CENSORSHIP TODAY 25 May 2004 Edited by Marie Korpe (Executive Director, Freemuse), published by Zed Books, London.Publication date: 18 May 2004. CD included. Shoot the Singer! Music Censorship Today was presented on 18 May 2004 at a combined book launch and one-day seminar on music censorship at SOAS (School of Oriental […]
  • Shoot the Singer! – table of contents

    SHOOT THE SINGER ! TABLE OF CONTENTS Shoot the Singer! Music Censorship Today table of contents one | Introduction1 What is music censorship? Towards a better understanding of the termMartin Cloonan 2 Music as a parallel power structureAlenka Barber-Kersovan 3 Music as a useless activity: conservative interpretations of music in IslamJonas Otterbeck two | Asia4 […]
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