• Tunisia: British DJ sentenced to jail for playing dance version of Muslim prayer

    A Tunisian court sentenced British DJ Dax J to a year in jail for “public indecency” and “offending public morality” after playing a dance remix of the Muslim call to prayer on 31 March 2017 at the ORBIT Festival in the north eastern coastal town of Nabeul, reported BBC on 7 April 2017. The Bristish-born, […]
  • Tunisia: Singer banned from working due to suggestive video

    The Tunisian Musicians Syndicate has banned singer Hana al Zughlami aka Tunisian Naglaa from working in the country under accusations she promoted vice and immorality in her latest video and single ‘La Ykhebbesh Wala Ydebbish’, reported news site Al Bawaba on 31 March 2016. The syndicate has also stated that legal action would be taken […]
  • 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 […]
  • 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 […]
  • 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 […]
  • 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 […]
  • 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 […]
  • Tunisia: Rappers and comedians fear for freedom of expression

    Tunisian rappers, comedians and journalists are bracing themselves to defend the freedoms won since the dictatorship was ousted in 2011, reported Agence France-Presse, AFP. Rappers, a particular bane of the old regime, are leading the way in warning against what they fear could be the effective return to power of long-time leader Zine El Abidine […]
  • Tunisia and Egypt: Music censorship after the Spring

    ‘The Cultural Spring’ in Tunisia and Egypt: Musicians are pushing the boundaries of artistic expression. By Victor Salama   While some Arab countries saw political changes in 2011 – president Ben Ali was ousted from power after ruling Tunisia for 24 years, Hosni Mubarak was deposed after ruling Egypt for 30 years – many cultural […]
  • Tunisia: Rapper Weld El 15 has been freed

    On 19 December 2013, the Tunisian rapper Weld El 15 was acquitted on appeal of singing songs insulting to the police and has been freed, according to his lawyer and his mother. The case against Weld El 15 (real name: Ala Yaacoubi) goes back to August 2013, when Weld El 15 and fellow rapper Klay […]
  • Tunisia: Rapper Weld El 15 appeal hearing

    Tunisian rapper Weld El 15 will spend the next four months in prison, unless he wins the appeal filed by his attorney on 9 December 2013. On 5 December, the 25-year-old artist was sentenced for performing songs deemed insulting to police. The Hammamet court ordered him taken straight to his cell. According to Tunisia rap […]
  • Tunisia: Two musicians denied access to perform at festival

    The organising committee of the festival L’Angar, supported by Turning Tables in Tunis, announced that entry on Tunisian territory has been denied two of the festival’s scheduled artists: El Rass from Libanon (real name: Mazen El Sayyed) and Al Sayed Darwish from Syria (real name: Sawah). The unofficial reason was given orally from a representative […]
  • Tunisia: Freemuse condemns imprisonment of rapper Weld El 15

    Rapper Weld El 15 (real name: Ala Yaacoubi) was sentenced four months imprisonment after he turned himself in to a court in Hammamet on 5 December 2013. Freemuse condemned the verdict. “Tunisia should live up to international conventions guaranteeing free speech,” said Freemuse Director Ole Reitov. Weld El 15 was sentenced in absentia earlier in […]
  • Tunisia: Rapper receives four-month reprieve on sentence

    Rappers Men-Ay (real name: Aymen Feki), and Mister Mustapha (real name: Mustapha Fakhfakh) have been prosecuted for their alleged role in clashes with the police, “insulting a public official in the exercise of his duties” and “breaching good morals” – offenses punishable respectively by one year or six months in prison, according to the Tunisian […]
  • Tunisia: Fugitive rapper to appeal conviction

    Tunisian rapper Weld El 15, on the run since receiving a 21-month jail sentence in absentia in August 2013, will appeal the ruling in court in December 2013, his lawyer said. The new trial will take place at the court in Hammamet on 5 December 2013, the lawyer Ghazi Mrabet told AFP, adding that his […]
  • Tunisian rappers in focus at Impossible Music Session

    KLAY BBJ, the Tunisian rapper who has been sentenced to imprisonment for his lyrics critical of the police and the Tunisian regime joined via skype The Impossible Music Sessions, which took place as part of a Nordic Experts Meeting on safe havens for artists in Malmö, Sweden, on 11 November 2013. The session featured music […]
  • Tunisia: New union to defend rappers’ freedom of expression

    Tunisian rap artists have launched a labour union to defend their interests and promote their art. The ‘National Rap Union’ will be linked to the General Confederation of Tunisian Workers and intends to “raise the level of urgency of files concerning the defence of freedom of expression.” This was reported by Magharebia on 15 October […]
  • Tunisia: Rapper sentenced to six months in prison

    Tunisian rapper Klay BBJ has been sentenced to six months in prison for insulting the authorities in his songs, reported several news agencies on 26 September 2013. That is 15 months less than the sentence he was first given in August 2013. Klay BBJ (real name: Ahmed Ben Ahmed) lost his appeal case after he […]
  • Tunisia: Two rappers convicted to 21 months in prison

    Two Tunisian rappers, Weld El 15 and Klay BBJ, have been given 21 month jail terms in absentia for insulting officials, their lawyer said on 4 September 2013, criticising the ruling as a new attack on freedom of expression. Weld El 15 This was reported by AFP. The trial took place on 30 August 2013 […]
  • Tunisia: Rapper sentenced to two years imprisonment, violence in court

    On 13 June 2013, the Tunisian rapper Weld El 15 was (again) sentenced to two years in prison for insulting the police in a song. Weld El 15, (real name: Alaa Eddine Yaacoubi) who had previously been in hiding, turned himself in and was immediately taken into custody. Cries were raised in the court room […]
  • Tunisia: The rapper Volcanis arrested on drug charges

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Tunisia:The rapper Volcanis arrested on drug charges On 25 January 2012, four-six security agents handcuffed and arrested the Tunisian rapper Vôlcànis, allegedly after having asked him if he was the composer of the song ‘Matbadal Sheia’ (‘Nothing Has Changed’). On youtube.com, ‘Elwazirlibre’ wrote on 26 January 2012 that the police ransacked the rapper’s […]
  • Tunisia: Culture minister defends artistic freedom

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Tunisia:Culture minister defends artistic freedom “There will be no restrictions on creative freedom. It is not possible as long as I am a minister of culture,” said Mehdi Mabrouk, Tunisia’s culture minister, after he had been under fire for saying he would exclude sexy Lebanese pop stars from an annual music festival. Mehdi […]
  • Mehdi R2M

    MEHDI R2M(Tunisia) ##PagePublishedLong## Musician Mehdi R2M comments on music censorship in Tunisia. This interview with Mehdi R2M was recorded by Freemuse Officer Martin Buch Larsen in Cairo, Egypt, in June 2011. Deriving from a family of music lovers, Mehdi R2M brings together the best of rap, RnB and Ragga. He is now an established name in […]
  • El G

    EL GÉNÉRAL(Tunisia) ##PagePublishedLong## Musician and rapper El Général comments on music censorship in Tunisia. This interview with El Général was recorded by Freemuse Programme Manager Ole Reitov in Stockholm, Sweden, in September 2011. Hamada Ben-Amor – known by his fans as ‘El Général’ (‘The General’) – was arrested in January 2011 after posting a song on the Internet entitled […]
  • Anis Dridi

    ANIS DRIDI(Tunisia) ##PagePublishedLong## Musician Anis Dridi comments on music censorship in Tunisia. This interview with Anis Dridi was recorded by Freemuse Officer Martin Buch Larsen in Cairo, Egypt, in June 2011. Originally trained as a religious singer, Anis Dridi has since moved on to more unconventional genres such as Arab-African fusion, rap and hip hop. […]
  • Tunisia: Released rapper free to perform

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Tunisia: Released rapper free to perform Hamada Ben-Amor, the artist who gave voice to the anger that spilled into protests that toppled Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, is now courted by music houses and making videos in plain sight. Hamada Ben-Amor, who shot to Internet fame with his rap song “President”, a dig […]
  • Tunisia: Rapper allegedly arrested and released

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Tunisia: Rapper allegedly arrested and released Freemuse has sent a letter to the Tunisian Ministry of Culture requesting information about the reported arrest of the Tunisian rapper Hamada Ben-Amor, also known as El General. According to several news media the 21-year-old rapper was arrested on Thursday 6 January 2011 in Sfax for releasing […]
  • Egypt and Tunisia: The artistic revolution in the Middle East

    ARTICLE ##PagePublishedLong## Egypt and Tunisia:The artistic revolution in the Middle East “This was a very artistic revolution,” Noor Ayman Nour, son of a famous dissident Egyptian politician and founder of the Egyptian metal band Bliss, told Andy Morgan — a writer, journalist, researcher and event programmer with a background in the music industry who has […]
  • Tunisia: Artists imprisoned because of rap video

    Actress Sabrine Klibi and cameraman Mohamed Hedi Belgueyed were sentenced to six months in prison for their participation in the music video ‘Cops are Dogs’, reported Tunisia Live. At the Court of First Instance of Ben Arous, a southern suburb of Tunis, the artists were charged according to five articles of the Tunisian Penal Code […]
  • Tunisia: Freemuse receives international award

    NEWS 19 October 2009 Tunisia:Freemuse receives international award The International Music Council (IMC) has awarded Freemuse the IMC Inaugural Musical Rights Award for its “courageous global programme advocating freedom of musical expression for creators and performers of music.” The award was presented during the ‘3rd IMC World Forum on Music’ which is currently taking place […]
  • Denmark/Tunisia: Danish orchestras cancel concerts in Tunisia

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Denmark / Tunisia:Danish orchestras cancel concerts in TunisiaChris Poole & Kasper S Cyborg.dkChrisPoole.dkOriental-Mood.dk Related reading
  • Tunisia/Egypt: Najla too sexy for Egyptian tv

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Tunisia / Egypt:Najla banned on Egyptian tv channel The Egyptian music channel Mazzika will not air Tunisian singer and dancer Najla’s new music video because it is considered pornographic Najla is trying eagerly to return to the scenes, yet decisions to ban her music surround her. This is the third time the singer’s music video has […]
  • Lebanese singer Marcel Khalife banned in Tunisia

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Lebanese singer banned in Tunisia By Freemuse Marcel Khalife, one of the most appreciated composers and singers in the Arab world and also one of the most respected by local and international rights groups, recently told the media that his music and songs have been banned in Tunisia by the state-controlled radio and […]
  • Algeria: Tunesian singer expelled and banned by Algerian authorities

    NEWS 15 August 2011 Algeria: Tunesian singer expelled and banned by Algerian authorities “After the two concerts in Algiers and Bejaia, the Algerian authorities have expelled me and banned me from reentering Algerian territory,” wrote the singer Bendir Man on his Facebook profile on 14 August 2011. Bendir Man performed two concerts in a row […]
  • Middle East: Hip-hop is a soundtrack to the North African revolt

    ARTICLES 20 April 2011 The Middle East: Hip-hop is a soundtrack to the North African revolt Hip-hop plays a central role in the revolts in Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria and Libya. Rap songs create an important platform for communication creating moral support and encouraging a spirit of resistance and revolt against the regime.  A new music […]
  • The Middle East: New restrictions on satellite tv

    NEWS The Middle East:New restrictions on satellite tv Freedom of expression in the Middle East suffered a major setback on 12 February 2008 when 21 information ministers of the Arab League agreed on a new charter which requires satellite tv broadcasting “not to offend leaders in the Arab world” and to “protect Arab identity from […]
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