• Ukraine: Russian Eurovision contestant banned over performance in Crimea

    Ukraine’s security service has banned Russian singer Julia Samoilova from entering the country for the next three years due to her giving a performance in Crimea in 2015, thus not allowing her to compete in European song contest Eurovison taking place in capital Kiev in May 2017, reported BBC on 22 March 2017. Geneva-based Eurovision […]
  • Tanzania: Rapper released after being detained over song

    Tanzanian popular rapper Ney wa Mitego (real name Emmanuel Elibariki) was released on 27 March 2017 without charges from police custody after he was held for nearly two days for his new song, ‘WAPO (They are There)’, which allegedly ridiculed the government. Minister of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports Harrison Mwakyembe said Tanzanian President John […]
  • Pakistan: Police ban music at weddings in village

    Police in the village of Mattani, a suburb of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province capital Peshawar in northern Pakistan, have banned all music from wedding ceremonies, reported Pakistan’s Express Tribune on 13 March 2017. A local villager told the newspaper that police are not only stopping events, raiding homes that host such banned events, and arresting […]
  • Nigeria: Singer arrested, out on bail for releasing uncensored song

    Singer Sadiq Zazzabi (real name: Sadiq Usman Saleh) was released on bail on 6 March 2017 after having been detained since 1 March 2017 for allegedly releasing a song before receiving approval from the Kano State Censorship Board in the country’s north, reported Nigerian newspaper Premium Times on 6 March 2017. The newspaper reported on […]
  • Israel: Gazan singer on conditional release by Hamas authorities

    On 25 January 2017, Hamas authorities in Gaza released singer-comedian Adel al-Mashwakhi on bail after having been arrested and in prison since 11 January 2017 for a video he posted on his Facebook page, reported Minneapolis Star Tribune on 26 January 2017. Al-Mashwakhi said his release was conditional upon him no longer making “politically flavoured” […]
  • Tanzania: Artists’ trial postponed for a fifth time

    The case against Tanzanian musician Mwana Cotide and music producer Mussa Sikabwe has once again been postponed until 9 March 2017. This is the fifth time their trial date has been pushed. The two artists were initially set to face trial on 12 October 2016 on charges of producing, singing and distributing a song called […]
  • Argentina: City mayor suspends all electronic music festivals

    Mar del Plata mayor, Carlos Arroyo, issued a decree on 10 January 2017 suspending all electronic festivals in response to drug-related deaths in various Argentinian cities. The measure also reportedly aims at preventing drug consumption and reducing the number of clandestine raves, reported El Marplatense on 10 January 2017. The measure was announced despite the […]
  • Mali: Music festival cancelled due to attacks

    Northern Mali’s Festival au Désert was set to return to Timbuktu on 28 January 2017 after having been in exile since 2012, but Malian officials decided to block it after suicide bombers attacked a military camp in Gao on 18 January 2017, killing 77 people and injuring more than 100 others, reported The Guardian on […]
  • Azerbaijan: Rapper’s family detained over music video

    Azerbaijani authorities detained rapper Jamal Ali’s mother, uncle and two cousins for four days after Ali released an online music video critical of the government, reported Eurasianet on 9 January 2017. The video for song ‘Heykal Baba’ (Monument Grandpa) was released on 31 December 2016 and was dedicated to two young activists who are serving […]
  • 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 […]
  • China: Ministry of Culture allegedly blacklists 55 artists

    China has allegedly blacklisted 55 artists, mostly musicians, a majority of whom are from Hong Kong and Taiwan, who have participated in pro-democracy movements or expressed political views that China deems objectionable, reported Quartz on 11 January 2017. Hints of the blacklist came a week earlier, on 6 January, when works by some pop artists […]
  • Zambia: Hounded singer remains defiant

    by Phoenix Gauthier, Freemuse correspondent On 11 August 2016, incumbent Zambian president Edgar Lungu squeezed out a controversial victory in the general elections, taking 50.35% of the votes. In the months that followed, Zambia experienced its worst attacks on press freedom in years. Three of its media outlets were suspended, including Muvi TV, the southern […]
  • Burundi: Music censorship or artist protection?

    Since a political crisis hit Burundi in May 2015, tensions have been high between the powers that be and the opposition; the media and civil society have all been involved in this polarising battle; and it seems that the newest victims of this battle are local musicians who now need to pass a “quality test” […]
  • Russia: Artistic freedom threatened by nationalist and orthodox groups

    While Russian president Vladimir Putin vowed in a meeting with film directors and artists in early December 2016 to protect artistic freedom, he also said artists carry a responsibility not to offend religious believers, saying “there is a very narrow divide between dangerous shock value and freedom of creativity”, reported The New York Times on […]
  • 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 […]
  • Argentina: German electronic band’s concert re-instated after appeal

    Authorities in Buenos Aires denied German electronic band Kraftwerk a permit for their performance scheduled for 23 November 2016 due to their use of synthesizers in their show; an instrument included in a judicial ban enacted earlier in the year on electronic festivals. A few days later, the concert’s promoters appealed the decision and a […]
  • 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 […]
  • Turkey: Seven members of Grup Yorum arrested

    Turkish police arrested seven members of famous folk band Grup Yorum on 23 November 2016 on charges of assault, resisting and insulting police, and being members of a terrorist group, reported Birgün on 24 November 2016. Grup Yorum’s lawyer Aytaç Ünsal told the Turkish newspaper: Even 3 days after they were initially taken into custody, […]
  • 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. […]
  • Kenya: Film board bans “obscene” music and “offensive” musician names

    Kenya’s Film Classification Board (KFCB) and its head, Ezekiel Mutua, announced on 19 November 2016 that they have issued a ban on local musicians using stage names they consider to be “offensive”, as well as the sale of music that contains “obscene” lyrics or glorifies drug abuse and violence. Mutua announced the news on his […]
  • Norway/Russia: Musician cuts song from concert due to Russian pressure

    The Russian Consulate General in Kirkenes, a town in north-eastern Norway near the Russian border, has interfered with a literature festival in the area by voicing its concern over a sold-out concert to be held on 17 November 2016 by Norwegian folk musician Moddi and Russian Arkhangelsk Chamber Orchestra, reported The Barents Observer on 15 […]
  • Germany: Foreign ministry cancels controversial concert at consulate in Istanbul

    Germany’s foreign ministry cancelled a 13 November 2016 Dresden Symphony Orchestra performance of ‘Aghet’, commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the Armenian genocide, scheduled to take place at the German consulate in Istanbul, reported Deutsche Welle on 25 October 2016. The ministry said in a short message that “the whole consulate in Istanbul is not available […]
  • Angola: Rappers’ concerts cancelled, one shut down by police

    Rappers Ikonoklasta (real name: Luaty Beirão) and MCK planned to hold joint concert ‘Ikopongo’ on 5 November 2016 at a venue in Angolan capital Luanda, but had to reschedule the event for the next day at a different venue after management cancelled the show; the relocated show was then shut down by police, reported Deutsche […]
  • 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 […]
  • Israel: Culture minister and activists call for cancellation of Palestinian rapper’s performance

    Israel’s controversial Minister of Culture Miri Regev tried to persuade the city of Haifa and its mayor to cancel Palestinian rapper Tamer Nafar’s performance at the 32nd annual Haifa Film Festival due to his stance on Israel, reported The Times of Israel on 18 October 2016. Regev’s letter followed warnings from Likud party activists who said […]
  • Kazakhstan: Pop group banned in some towns on national tour

    The following article on the troubles Kazakhstan’s Korean Pop group, Ninety One, has suffered on its national tour was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty on 23 October 2016, who have kindly allowed Freemuse to re-publish it here: Flashy Boy Band Roils Some As It Tours Kazakhstan It’s not easy being a boy band in […]
  • South Korea: Alleged government blacklist of 9,473 artists over politics

    South Korean daily newspaper Hankook Ilbo revealed on 11 October 2016 that the South Korean government blacklisted 9,473 artists from receiving state support, including financial support, due to their political activity of either being critical of the current government or backing opposition politicians, reported The Korea Times on 12 October 2016. The 100-page blacklist is […]
  • Vietnam: Popular music and censorship

    The Vietnamese state operates a thorough system of music censorship, and the few songwriters who dare to directly challenge the authority of the Vietnamese Communist Party or its policies face serious consequences. Focusing on popular musicians, this article charts the history of music censorship in Vietnam from the mid twentieth century through to the current digital era. […]
  • Tanzania: Two artists arrested for allegedly insulting president in latest song

    Tanzanian musician Mwana Cotide (real name: Fulgency Mapunda) and music producer Mussa Sikabwe were arrested for allegedly producing, singing and distributing a song called ‘Dikteta Uchwara’ (Petty Dictator) that contained “seditious and offensive” content against Tanzanian President John Magufuli, reported the Swahili Times on 29 September 2016. The two artists were charged at the Kisutu […]
  • China: Singer’s music scrubbed from online music services due to Hong Kong activism

    Music fans in China have reported that several major Chinese music and video streaming platforms, as well as the Chinese iTunes store, have removed, blocked or filtered out the music and online content of pop star Denise Ho, who has been active in the Hong Kong independence and pro-democracy movement since 2014, as well as […]
  • Ukraine: Government to bar blacklisted Russian singers in European song contest

    The Ukrainian government said on 9 September 2016 that it would deny entry into the country to blacklisted Russian singers competing for the 62nd Eurovision contest set to take place in capital Kiev in May 2017 if they are found to support the separatist cause stemming from Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, reported Reuters on 9 […]
  • Somalia: Concert cancelled for “objectionable” shows in Europe

    A concert with singer Nasteexo Indho, along with DJ Subeer and the singers from Stars of the Horn, was cancelled one hour before it was scheduled to begin on 13 August 2016 in Hargeisa as armed soldiers surrounded the DJ and a young TV cameraman, informing them of the cancellation and that Nasteexo would be […]
  • USA: Schools reverse radio station ban on buses

    Portland Public Schools in the capital of US western state Oregon have gone back on their ban of particular radio stations on public school buses, which included radio stations playing rap music, reported Oregon Live on 30 August 2016. A memo sent out by director of student transportation Teri Brady on 9 March 2016 listed […]
  • Mauritania: Rapper harassed and attacked by police

    Police stopped Mauritanian rapper Yëro Gaynääko (real name Yéro Abdoulaye Sow) on 16 August 2016 while on the road back to the capital Nouakchott, forcibly removing the rapper out of the car, accusing him of being drugged and taking him to a police station where he was assaulted and verbally abused, reported human rights organisation […]
  • Sierra Leone: Musician allegedly censored due to political song

    Popular musician Emmerson Bockarie claims the government has banned him from playing a concert in Sierra Leone capital Freetown and a radio DJ has said that his station manager told him to not play the artist’s latest hit ‘Munku Boss Pan Matches’ (‘A Kid in a Candy Store’), a 15-minute song that criticises the government […]
  • 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 […]
  • Malaysia: Artist released on bail; investigation pending

    Malaysian artist Namewee was released on bail in Penang on 25 August 2016 after four days in detention over charges that a recent video he starred in, directed and produced allegedly insulted Islam, reported Reuters on 25 August 2016. Penang district police chief Mior Faridalathrash Wahid said they have referred the case to the Penang […]
  • 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 […]
  • Malaysia: Artist detained over allegedly “insulting Islam” in music video

    Police detained Malaysian artist Namewee upon his return from being abroad on 21 August 2016 at the Kuala Lampur airport and are investigating him after groups filed reports that his latest music video “insulted Islam”, reported The Star Online on 22 August 2016. “Malaysian authorities must release Namewee and drop all charges against him,” said Freemuse […]
  • Turkey: Singer’s concerts cancelled due to coup-related remarks

    The Turkish government cancelled four concerts by pop star Sıla Gençoğlu over comments she made about a democracy rally held in Istanbul on 7 August 2016 in the aftermath of an attempted coup that happened a month earlier, reported Hurriyet Daily News on 11 August 2016.  “I am absolutely against the coup, but I prefer […]
  • Sweden: Metal band allegedly receives threats after cancelling gig

    Swedish metal band Black Ingvars have reported receiving multiple anonymous death threats after they decided to pull out of a summer festival organised by far-right, nationalist party Swedish Democrats, reported Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet on 8 August 2016. “I have received emails where people write that they hope I’ll die in a car crash or suffer […]
  • China: State agency reportedly bans South Korean stars over diplomatic feud

    Officials from China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television have allegedly passed down “verbal orders” to TV stations that approvals for South Korean programmes or those featuring South Korean stars would not be granted for the time being, reported South China Morning Post on 2 August 2016. Further, according to the new […]
  • Uzbekistan: Suspended artists and instrument bans

    Ever-tightening restrictions on musicians and artists continue to take their toll in Uzbekistan as state-run arts association Uzbeknavo revoked the licenses of three pop artists for holding performances abroad to lacklustre audience numbers, reported Uzbek news outlet UZ24 on 20 July 2016. Uzbeknavo license department head Odiljon Abdukahhar said the association stripped singers Sitora Farmonova, […]
  • Malaysia: Rapper threatened with censorship and arrest

    Police plan to arrest rapper Namewee (real name Wee Meng Chee) when he returns to Malaysia over his recent video for a song he performed with Taiwanese hip hop trio Jiu Yi Yi (Nine One One) called ‘Oh My God’, which has allegedly insulted religion, reported Free Malaysia Today on 2 August 2016. Penang police […]
  • Tanzania: Rapper banned from music industry indefinitely

    The Tanzanian National Arts Council (Basata) banned popular rapper Nay wa Mitego (real name Emmanuel Elibariki) from participating in the music industry indefinitely due to “immoral content” in his latest song ‘Pale Kati Patamu’, reported Tanzanian news outlet The Citizen on 28 July 2016. “We have barred him from performing in Tanzania indefinitely,” Basata executive […]
  • Pakistan: Music returns to region amid scepticism

    The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the north-western region of Pakistan, announced a fund to support 500 artists, including musicians, in the area by giving them $300 USD per month to create and practice their art, reported Al Jazeera on 27 May 2016. Apart from the fund, the government is also planning on spending $5 […]
  • USA: Anti-Donald Trump song censored

    US presidential nominee Donald Trump and the secret service demanded changes be made to two songs by rapper YG on his latest album released in June 2016 for anti-Trump lyrics, reported entertainment news outlet Vulture on 16 June 2016. The two censored songs – ‘FDT’ (an abbreviation for Fuck Donald Trump) and ‘Blacks and Browns’ […]
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis: US rapper arrested, fined for profane lyrics

    Local police in the Caribbean island nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis arrested US rapper 50 Cent (real name Curtis Jackson) on 25 June 2016 for using “indecent language” onstage during one of his songs. The rapper later pleaded guilty to the offence, paid a fine of USD $1,100 and was released, reported Rolling Stone […]
  • Somalia: Security forces arrest musician

    Security forces in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, arrested musician Farhan Hidig (Farxaan Xidig) in late June 2016 due to him visiting Mogadishu and remains in custody, according to Freemuse sources. According to local media sources the musician was arrested in connection to his political activity. Somaliland authorities have not commented yet on Hidig’s arrest. While […]
  • Saudi Arabia: Emir bans playing and carrying of musical instruments in region

    Emir Prince Khaled Al-Faisal of the eastern region of Makkah banned the playing and carrying of musical instruments, headphones and speakers in public places within all governorates in the region on 16 June 2016, reported several local news sources, including the Saudi Gazette, Emirates 24/7 and Gulf Digital News, on 16 June 2016. The directive […]
  • Ukraine: Belarusian singer denied entry due to Crimea concert

    Belarusian singer Max Korzh was denied entry into Ukraine on 17 February 2016 where he was due to go on his five-city tour in the country in early March, reported BBC Ukraine on 26 February 2016. While organisers said the tour would be postponed until later in the year, press secretary for Ukraine’s security service […]
  • Poland: Ukrainian band stopped at border due to local threats

    Polish authorities did not let Ukrainian band Ot Vinta cross the border into Poland as local hard-core football fans known as Ultras threatened to stage mass riots and burn down the stage the band was set to perform on if they were let into the country. The band was scheduled to play in a festival […]
  • Central African Republic: Rapper beaten by army general

    In early June 2016, Central African Republic rapper Vey-Zo was beaten at a bar in the capital city of Bangui by army general Roman Guitizia, put into the trunk of a car and taken to an army base where he was further tortured, according to information posted by civil society organisation Arterial Network on 30 […]
  • China: American singer banned due to Dalai Lama meeting

    American pop star Lady Gaga is the latest addition to the ever-growing list of artists banned by China for their meetings with the Dalai Lama or stances on Tibet, reported The Guardian on 28 June 2016. The singer met with the Dalai Lama on 26 June 2016 at the US Conference of Mayors for approximately […]
  • Nigeria: Musician kidnapped, found, later detained allegedly due to song

    Musician Ado Daukaka was abducted in Adamawa State in north-eastern Nigeria in the early hours of 25 June 2016 just after the release of his latest anti-corruption song ‘Gyara Kayanka’ (‘Put your house in order’), and found five days later on 29 June 2016 unconscious in some bushes 80 kilometres away from state capital of […]
  • Tanzania: Artist banned from performing due to “immoral” video

    Snura Mushi’s latest popular hit ‘Chura’ has not only led Tanzanian authorities to ban the video and its distribution on 4 May 2016, just days after the video hit the internet, but they have also banned the artist from performing until the video is edited, Tanzanian newspaper Daily News reported on 5 May 2016. The […]
  • 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. […]
  • 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 […]
  • 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 […]
  • 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 […]
  • 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: 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, […]
  • Russia: Theatre director fired for staging opera that offended church

    Russia’s Ministry of Culture has fired the director and head of Novosibirsk State Opera and Ballet Theatre for having staged a Wagner opera which offended Orthodox believers. “What some perceive as a sophisticated work of art was interpreted as offensive blasphemy by others. The production of ‘Tannhauser’ has exposed the sharp divisions within Russian society,” wrote Ivan Nechepurenko in The […]
  • Turkey: Legal breakthrough in favour of prosecuted singer Ferhat Tunç

    The European Court of Human Rights has convicted Turkey of violating freedom of speech in the case of singer Ferhat Tunç. A Turkish court had sentenced Ferhat Tunç to three months in prison and ordered him to pay a fine for having made dissident comments during a concert. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) […]
  • India: Censorship board bleeps out ‘Bombay’ from music video

    Mihir Joshi, an Indian musician recording his first album in 2014, needed a word to rhyme with ‘today’ in one of his songs and found one that he thought fit perfectly. But India’s Central Board of Film Certification disagreed. The censorship board replaced it with a beep when the music video debuted on tv. The […]
  • Turkey: Charges against musician of insult to prime minister

    On 16 January 2015 an investigation was opened against folk music artist Kutsal Evcimen because of insulting prime minister of the time, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, with the folk song ‘Satın Eşek Sıpaları’ which he sang – and with a short speech he made – during Malatya 11th International Arguvan Folk Music Festival. The Initiative for Free Expression […]
  • Egypt: Dialogue stopped by restrictions, censorship and arrests

    “Democracy is about dialogue. It is not about shutting down ideas or artistic expressions which may be in opposition to the majority or the ruling system. Due to restrictions and censorship, this dialogue is not possible in Egypt now,” writes Egyptian singer and activist Ramy Essam in this opinion-piece which was first published by Al […]
  • Pakistan: Rock guitarist keeps music scene alive despite state-wide fear and censorship

    Pakistan is internationally known for its state-sponsored censorship and terrorists’ attacks on musicians and music shops. But in the capital, the music scene is in a fast transition. Meet Islamabad’s maestro guitarist Zeejah Fazli who works hard to help fix Pakistan’s broken and battered music industry. By Annie Zaman with additional reporting by Sahar Ghazi […]
  • Pakistan: Ban of social media has great impact on musicians

    As Pakistan continues to restrict access to social media platforms such as YouTube and Facebook, activist band Laal discusses the silencing effect that these bans have on artists, and speaks to the future of free expression. By Anushe Noor Faheem, with additional reporting by Annie Zaman Still from Laal’s video for the song ‘Inqalab’ – […]
  • China/Tibet: Artists have to tread an incredibly fine line

    Braving high risks and heavy censorship in China, Tibetan musicians sing their love for Tibet. by Dechen Pemba Tibetan singer Gebey. Photo: from Youtube video   Gebey, a Tibetan singer who had been detained at the end of May 2014 following a live performance in Ngaba Prefecture, eastern Tibet, has been released from detention. Gebey […]
  • Morocco: Rapper sentenced to four months in prison

    The Moroccan rapper Mouad Belghaoute – known by his stage name El Haqed (also spelled: Lhaqed) – has been sentenced to four months in prison. He is furthermore to pay a fine of 1,350 euros to the two police officers he was accused of attacking. An accusation of selling tickets in the black market was […]
  • Senegal: Rapper faces six months in prison for criticising authorities

    On 19 June 2014, at a ceremony in the suburbs of Dakar on the mobilisation against drugs, Fou Malade, one of the rappers from the Y’en a marre movement (‘Enough’s enough’), said aloud to the Senegalese Minister of Interior and to the Director General of Police what everyone thinks quietly. His remarks led him straight […]
  • Turkey abuse laws to punish artists challenging authorities

    Law suits, arrests, threats and banning orders, these are all dangers that artists in Turkey who touch on sensitive issues face today. This is pointed out by the UPR submission that Freemuse, Siyah Bant and the Initiative for Freedom of Expression has forwarded to the UN. The Turkish Anti Terror Law (TMK) continues to be […]
  • Morocco: Heated discussions as El Haqed trial continues

    The trial against Moroccan rapper El Haked was once again postponed after a court meeting in Casablanca on Tuesday 17 June 2014. The next and seventh hearing will be on Tuesday 24 June 2014. The sixth hearing on 17 June took several hours and lasted till late in the evening. Once again, the exchanges were […]
  • Morocco: Rapper in trial that seems to never end

    Within just one week, the Moroccan rapper El Haqed has appeared twice at the trial court of Ain Sebaa, Casablanca. After which the trial was postpone once again, this time until Tuesday 17 June 2014. By Dounia Benslimane, reporting from Casablanca Accused of illegal ticket sales, of being influenced by alcohol in public and of […]
  • Morocco: El Haqed’s hearing postponed

    On 5 June 2014, Mouad Belghouate, the Moroccan rapper known as El Haqed or Lhaqed, passed by the trial court of Ain Sebaa in Casablanca, Morocco, for the third time since his arrest on 18 May 2014. Freemuse attended the hearing. By Dounia Benslimane, reporting from Casablanca At the entrance of the building, plain clothes […]
  • Azerbaijan: Report about artistic freedom of expression

    A new 33-page report by Art for Democracy details cases of violations of the right to artistic freedom of expression over the past three years in Azerbaijan. According to the report, ‘Creativity Under Pressure: Artistic Freedom of Expression in Azerbaijan’, the Azerbaijani authorities have used a range of tactics to silence critical artistic expression, including […]
  • Freemuse and AFTE to the United Nations: Egypt should abolish prior censorship

    Egypt should abolish prior censorship and allow artists to organise freely. These are two of the recommendations made by Freemuse and AFTE to the Egyptian government in a joint Universal Periodic Review (UPR) submitted to the United Nations. The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a mechanism of the Human Rights Council in the United Nations […]
  • Saudi Arabia: Musicians’ freedom expanded

    ARTICLE ##PagePublishedLong## Saudi Arabia:Musicians’ freedom expanded There has been a quiet, yet marked increase in cultural activities in Saudi Arabia during the past couple of months. New music bands emerge, and the internet has become an important meeting place for underground musicians. “There is a revolution taking place,” stated the American tv news reporter Nic […]
  • Cameroon: Imprisoned for singing ‘Constipated Constitution’

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Cameroon:Imprisoned for singing ‘Constipated Constitution’ Two musicians have been arrested for criticizing constitutional amendments which allows the president unlimited terms of office, reported Media Foundation for West Africa Two renowned musicians, Lapiro de Mbanga and Joe La Conscience, have been arrested and detained by the authorities in Cameroon for singing songs in which […]
  • Senegal: Cote d’Ivoirian reggae singer banned in Senegal

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Senegal: Côte d’Ivoirian reggae singer banned in Senegal Reggae singer Tiken Jah Fakoly from Côte d’Ivoire was declared ‘persona non grata’ in Senegal in December 2007, after critizing Senegal’s president and calling for democracy. The Senegales authorities described his declarations on President Abdoulaye Wade and his critique of the rising corruption and maladministration […]
  • Zimbabwe: Profile of Thomas Mapfumo – ‘the Lion of Zimbabwe’

    MUSICAN PROFILE ##PagePublishedLong## Thomas Mapfumo – ‘the Lion of Zimbabwe’ “Chimurenga” means “struggle”, and as much as the chimurenga music, Thomas Mapfumo stands for struggle. It is the struggle of a nation in the southern part of the African continent to be free. Throughout years of struggle, Mapfumo has been an important revolutionary figure – […]
  • Zimbabwe: Protest singer Viomak challenges Mugabe’s regime

    MUSICIAN PROFILE ##PagePublishedLong## Zimbabwe:Protest singer challenges Mugabe’s regime Exiled Zimbabwean singer Viomak challenges the Mugabe regime. By doing so she puts her life at risk, she says, and she sings under the pseudonum Viomak for fear of reprisals against her family in Zimbabwe. “Die for a reason that will live”, Viomak writes as an opening line on […]
  • 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. […]
  • USA: Documentary film about Dixie Chicks: ‘Shut up & Sing’

    FILMS ##PagePublishedLong## USA:‘Shut up & Sing’ – a documentary film about Dixie Chicks – awarded Numerous awards have been given to the documentary film about freedom of speech and censorship in the field of American country music “Shut up & Sing” documents the country trio The Dixie Chicks during the three years of medial and […]
  • 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 […]
  • North Korea: Jason Carter – ‘The Colour Of Silence’

    ARTICLE ##PagePublishedLong## North Korea:The Colour Of Silence Excerpts from Jason Carter’s diary, ‘The Colour Of Silence In The Axis Of Evil’ Jason Carter is a British guitarist who has travelled and toured in more than 70 countries. This is his personal account of his first performance in North Korea – as the second person from […]
  • Lebanon: Hip hop band’s censored album debut

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Lebanon:Hip hop band’s censored album debut The Beirut-based rap duo Ashekman has come up against censorship several times in its young career, reports The Daily Star, as they are about to publish their debut album with an Arabic parental advisory warning on the cover “They give voice to Lebanon’s disaffected youth through music,” […]
  • Belarus: ‘Hidden Truths’ report appendix – audio and video

    FREEMUSE REPORT APPENDIX ##PagePublishedLong## ‘Hidden Truths’ songs Listen to examples of banned and blacklisted music from Belarus. The bands and most of the songs are mentioned in Freemuse’s report on music censorship in Belarus. For information about the artists, click on [info] or see below on this page. 1. De Shifer:  ‘Chas Priyshov’    [Info]  [Lyrics] 2. Partyzanskaja Shkola: […]
  • Belarus: ‘Hidden Truths’ report appendix – song lyrics

    FREEMUSE REPORT APPENDIX ##PagePublishedLong## ‘Hidden Truths’ song lyrics English translation of the lyrics of the seven songs which are published as an online appendix to Freemuse’s report on music censorship in Belarus 1. De Shifer:  ‘Chas Priyshov’    [Info]  [Lyrics] 2. Partyzanskaja Shkola:  ‘Nie!’    [Info]  [Lyrics] 3. Kasia Kamotskaya:  ‘Maja Kraina’    [Info]  [Lyrics] 4. Krama:  ‘Homielski Vals’    [Info]  [Lyrics] 5. Chyrvonym pa Belamu:  ‘Nie Zadaju’    [Info]  [Lyrics] 6. Neuro Dubel:  ‘Belarus […]
  • 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 […]
  • Syria: ‘Silenced voices’

    ARTICLE ##PagePublishedLong## Syria: Silenced voices In Syria, music is a mirror which shows the soul of the listener. The hedonist youth of Damascus sees fuel for the fun of their parties, fundamentalists suspect moral corruption, the authocratic regime fears the output of subversive minds. And just a few young musicians perceive a magic language of […]
  • Pride and prejudice: ‘anti-gay’ stars refuse to apologise

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Pride and prejudice: ‘anti-gay’ stars refuse to apologiseTheir gigs have been cancelled all over the world and their names withdrawn from awards. But Jamaica’s dancehall stars refuse to apologise for – or even stop singing – songs that encourage the murder of gay people. The Guardian’s Alexis Petridis travels to the Caribbean and […]
  • City demands ‘anti-gay’ music ban

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## City demands ‘anti-gay’ music banBrighton will be the first UK city to demand that music retailers ban reggae and rap albums with “anti-gay” lyrics. Brighton and Hove City Council voted unanimously on Thursday to write to the managing directors of its three largest stores condemning the music. It urged them not to stock […]
  • Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings’ Policies on Censorship of Music

    ARTICLES ##PagePublishedLong## Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings’ Policies on Censorship of Music A look at the various censorship policies of Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings – which holds a monopoly on broadcasting in the country – and how these policies have affected the musicians in Zimbabwe By Musavengana Nyasha – former Radio Zimbabwe presenter Since Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings holds a monopoly on broadcasting in […]
  • 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 […]
  • No apology from ‘anti-gay’ singer

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## No apology from ‘anti-gay’ singerReggae star Sizzla has refused to apologise for his lyrics advocating violence against gay men, despite his UK tour being cancelled after protests. “They can’t ask me to apologise,” he told BBC radio station 1Xtra. “They’ve got to apologise to God because they break God’s law.” Sizzla is not […]
  • ‘Kill Bush’ rappers rapped by US

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## ‘Kill Bush’ rappers rapped by USGatans Parlament – a Norwegian rap group that criticised US President George W Bush by setting up a website whose name means “Kill him now” is in trouble with US authorities.Washington’s embassy in Oslo has reported hip-hop artists Gatans Parlament to the police, accusing them of threatening the […]
  • Reggae stars ‘help to spread HIV’

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Reggae stars ‘help to spread HIV’Reggae stars using homophobic lyrics are stoking the spread of HIV, a UK minister is warning in the Caribbean.International Development Minister Gareth Thomas fears that discrimination against homosexuals is deterring people from being tested for HIV. Mr Thomas will tell a conference in St Kitts there must be […]
  • The world’s all out of tune: Popular music after 9/11

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## 9/11 – The world’s all out of tunePopuläre Musik nach dem 11. September 2001 A new book on music post September 11 is published in October. Among the contributors are Freemuse Chairperson Martin Cloonan. Please note: The book is published in German. A Freemuse report on music censorship post 9/11 is scheduled for […]
  • City seeks ‘anti-gay’ album ban

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## City seeks ‘anti-gay’ album banThe first city-wide boycott of reggae and rap albums with “anti-gay” lyrics is being considered in Brighton. Councillors want music retailers HMV, Virgin Megastore and MVC to stop selling albums with homophobic lyrics in its Brighton and Hove branches. While the council does not have the power to ban […]
  • Zimbabwe: Moyo under fire for using billions of taxpayers’ money to sponsor own band

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Zimbabwe: Moyo under fire for using billions of taxpayers’ money to sponsor own bandInformation Minister Jonathan Moyo has squandered at least Z$2-billion of public funds in recording and launching music group PaxAfro’s first CD, and in hosting music concerts aimed at sprucing up the Zimbabwean government’s battered image. Moyo told parliament recently that […]
  • USA: ‘Crash into me, baby!’

    ARTICLE ##PagePublishedLong## Crash into me, baby: America’s implicit music censorship since 11 Septemberby Eric Nuzum “Freedom has been attacked, but freedom will be defended.” These were the words of President George Bush shortly after the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States. Bush went on to say that the terrorists “cannot touch the foundation […]
  • Elton John attacks new ‘era of censorship’ in America

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Elton John attacks new ‘era of censorship’ in America“There’s an atmosphere of fear in America right now that is deadly. Everyone is too career-conscious. They’re all too scared.” British singer Elton John has attacked what he calls a McCarthy-like “era of censorship” in America. Entertainers who speak out against the Bush administration or […]
  • Albums with ‘objectionable material’ removed from Kansas libraries

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Albums with ‘objectionable material’ removed from Kansas librariesThe Kansas attorney general has withheld more than 1,600 compact discs from distribution to state libraries because officials determined the albums promote violence or illegal activity, records show.The albums removed by Attorney General Phill Kline’s office were part of 51,000 discs given to Kansas as part […]
  • ‘Anti-gay’ lyrics inquiry starts

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## ‘Anti-gay’ lyrics inquiry startsUK detectives are investigating claims that lyrics penned by eight leading reggae artists incite violence against homosexuals and are therefore illegal. Lyrics by Beenie Man, Elephant Man and Bounty Killer are among those being scrutinised by Scotland Yard.Meanwhile the government is considering banning reggae star Sizzla from the UK as […]
  • Mexico’s forbidden songs

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Mexico’s forbidden songsCan a musical genre be considered so dangerous as to be banned from the radio? Yes, according to the authorities in some parts of Mexico who have forced radio stations to take action in an attempt to stamp out the culture of “narco corridos”, which they accuse of glamorising drug trafficking […]
  • Singing Kharabat’s praises

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Singing Kharabat’s praises Kabul’s musicians defy violent and abusive conservativesDespite harrasment and killings, the sound of music can be heard once again coming from the ruins of Kabul’s Kharabat Street, the cradle of traditional Afghan songs for centuries.Article from The Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR) Related reading
  • Iraq’s artists strive for freedom

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iraq’s artists strive for freedom Saddam Hussein manipulated artistic expression so completely that many musicians, writers and artists now wonder if they can ever again find their own voices. Story from New York Times Related reading and more on minorities
  • Nigeria: ‘Leash on Their Tongues’

    ARTICLE
  • Khoshnawaz brothers keep Herat’s music alive

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Khoshnawaz brothers keep Herat’s music aliveThe Khoshnawaz brothers, Herat’s folk musicians who used to perform at weddings, have been exiled to Iran. Five generations of folk music in their family, the brothers only know their rubab, tabla and harmonium. They sing to survive.The independent Afghan culture magazine Lemar – Aftaab has interviewed the […]
  • China ‘orders Stones songs ban’

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## China ‘orders Stones songs ban’The Chinese Government has ordered the Rolling Stones to drop four of their best-known songs from their concerts in the country next month, according to a tour organiser.Story from BBC Related reading
  • Korea: ‘The people united’

    ARTICLE ##PagePublishedLong## THE PEOPLE UNITED: MUSIC FOR NORTH KOREA’S ‘GREAT LEADER’ AND ‘DEAR LEADER’By Keith Howard, Senior Lecturer, SOAS, and Director, AHRB Research Centre for Cross-Cultural Music and Dance Performance, UK In North Korea the word “censorship” is a euphemism. The government simply controls all areas of musical life. Keith Howard’s paper examines this very […]
  • Russia: Interview with released Pussy Riot member

    ARTICLES ##PagePublishedLong## Russia:First interview with released Pussy Riot member Index on Censorship had the exclusive opportunity to interview Pussy Riot member Ekatrina Samutsevich who was freed by a Moscow court on 10 October 2012. The interview took place during the same week as Samutsevich’s friends and fellow band mates Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were […]
  • Kuwait: Music distributor pulls out of Kuwait because of censorship

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Kuwait:Music distributor pulls out of Kuwait because of censorship Music Master, a leading Dubai-based music distributor, has stopped its Kuwait operations because state censorship of albums and artwork makes it impossible to operate, reported Arabian Business on 31 January 2011. Albums by mainstream artists such as Beyonce and Lady Gaga have run into […]
  • 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: 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 […]
  • Lavon Volski

    LAVON VOLSKI(Belarus) ##PagePublishedLong## Freemuse interview with musician Lavon Volski, guitarist and vocalist of the group Krambambulya Interview by Ingo Petz. Filmed and edited by Matvei Saburov The Belarusian singer and musician Lavon Volski gave an exclusive interview to Freemuse about the current repressions of the Belarusian regime against the independent music scene in the country which since 1994 has […]
  • Belarus: Longing for change

    ARTICLES ##PagePublishedLong## Belarus: Longing for change At the end of the concert, the audience shouted “Zhyvie Belarus!” (Long live Belarus!), which is the cry of those who dream of a democratic and free Belarus. Since 1994 the country has been governed by president Aleksandr Lukashenko who suppresses freedom of opinion and expression and who has […]
  • Kuwait: BBC reports how musicians in Kuwait struggle with censorship

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Kuwait: BBC reports how musicians in Kuwait struggle with censorship Video report by Howard Johnson, BBC While the music industry in the Gulf is a lucrative one, government censors are proving a big barrier to commercial success for some artists. In February 2012, Virgin Megastore, the region’s biggest music retailer, closed its flagship […]
  • Zimbabwe: Platform for free artistic expression awarded

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Zimbabwe:Platform for free artistic expression awarded In Zimbabwe’s capital Harare, the Book Café reopened on 8 March 2012 after having been shut down in November 2011. It was forced to relocate to a different venue. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai gave an insightful speech centering on censorship of music and arts – and about […]
  • Russia: Punk band arrested after protesting against Putin

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Russia:Punk band arrested after protesting against Putin Shortly before the presidential elections in Russia, authorities put an end to punk band Pussy Riot’s anti-Putin protest concerts, held illegally in public places, by arresting six members of the band, reported the newspaper The Moscow Times. You do not really need to be able to […]
  • Belarus: State radio reportedly bans politically sensitive song

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Belarus: State radio reportedly bans politically sensitive song State-controlled Belarusian Radio is reported to have banned a 25-year-old song titled ‘Peremen’ (‘Change’) by the rebellious Soviet rock musician Viktor Tsoi after the song has been adopted as a kind of revolutionary anthem by the growing youth protest movement. The lyrics of the song […]
  • China: ‘Super Girl’ music tv-show suspended by government censors

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## China: Popular music tv-show suspended by government censors One of China’s most popular televised talent shows, ‘Super Girl’, has been put under yearlong suspension by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television. The finales of ‘Super Girl’ — the Chinese version of ‘American Idol’ — attracted more than 400 million viewers in China. […]
  • 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 […]
  • China: 100 songs on culture ministry’s internet blacklist

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## China: 100 songs on culture ministry’s internet blacklist 100 songs that harm ‘national cultural security’ have been placed on a new internet blacklist by China’s culture ministry, reported BBC News on 24 August 2011. Most of the banned songs are from Taiwan or Hong Kong, with several from Japan. Also hits by Western […]
  • China: Beijing’s censors cancel opera’s world premiere

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## China: Beijing’s censors cancel opera’s world premiere A new opera about Sun Yat-sen, China’s first president, was canceled shortly before its scheduled opening in Beijing because its music allegedly displeased the authorities, reported several news media. According to the composer’s representatives, Karsten Witt Music Management in Berlin, a government official had gone to […]
  • South Korea: In the past two years 2,607 songs have been banned

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## South Korea: In the past two years 2,607 songs have been banned The South Korean Ministry of Gender Equality & Family has caused distress amongst fans in recent months for a series of bans they’ve made on songs they considered ‘hazardous media’ to the youth. In this context, a representative clarified that a […]
  • 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, […]
  • Russia: Minister to censor online music of the youth

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Russia: Minister to censor online music of the youth Russia’s Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev wants to stop young people from listening to music which, according to the minister, undermines traditional values and leads to cultural decay. “They have forgotten the love of old songs, the waltzes , everything that united us, our background […]
  • United Kingdom: Offensive football songs criminalised

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Scotland, United Kingdom: Offensive football songs criminalised ‘Sectarian’ chanting in football will be banned in Scotland, and football fans could be imprisoned for up to six years for singing offensive songs, if the socalled ‘Offensive Behaviour at Football Bill’ is passed in the Scottish Parliament. In June 2011, the Scottish Parliament published proposals […]
  • China: 18th-century German opera censored in Beijing

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## China: 18th-century German opera censored in Beijing Zhang Huan’s production of the Handel opera ‘Semele’ concerned Chinese censors. The officials insisted on a number of changes. “As any artist or performer in China knows, it is impossible to predict what will set off the mercurial culture censors who have sweeping power over the […]
  • China: American folk singer agreed to Chinese censorship

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## China / USA: American folk singer agreed to Chinese censorship The 69-year-old American folk singer Bob Dylan, famous for his songs against injustice and for civil rights, agreed to perform in China only with a heavily censored list of songs — which caused an uproar in his home country. On 6 April 2011, Bob […]
  • 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 […]
  • Zimbabwe: 2,000 musicians unite in protest on Music Freedom Day

    MUSIC FREEDOM DAY ##PagePublishedLong## Zimbabwe:2,000 musicians unite in protest on Music Freedom Day Close to 2,000 music composers in Zimbabwe have resolved to protest non-payment of royalties by ordering the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, ZBC, to stop playing music for six hours on this year’s Music Freedom Day By Maxwell Sibanda – reporting for Freemuse from […]
  • Lapiro de Mbanga

    LAPIRO DE MBANGA(Cameroon) ##PagePublishedLong## Musician Lapiro de Mbanga comments on his situation in the prison, and on his cause In September 2008, Lapiro was sentenced to three years imprisonment and a huge fine. Sharing a cell with more than 50 persons, Lapiro’s health has deteriorated as hygiene conditions and food are substandard. This video interview was […]
  • China: Rock musician arrested in airport

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## China: Rock musician arrested in airport The Chinese rock musician Zuoxiao Zuzhou was detained for over 12 hours by police in Shanghai’s airport, a Hong Kong-based rights group said on 28 April 2011. Zuoxiao Zuzhou (real name: Wu Hongjin) had publicly expressed his support for the detained artist and rights campaigner Ai Weiwei […]
  • Cameroon: Lapiro de Mbanga’s legal team files petition to United Nations

    CAMPAIGN NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Cameroon / USA:Lapiro de Mbanga’s legal team files petition to United Nations On 16 June 2010, the international legal team for Lapiro de Mbanga filed an urgent action petition with the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on behalf of the Cameroonian singer-songwriter and democracy activist. The legal team hopes to obtain […]
  • China/Tibet: Singer and music shop owner in Lhasa detained by police

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Tibet / China:Singer and music shop owner in Lhasa detained by police Tenzin, a singer from Amdo who owns a music shop in Lhasa, has been detained by the police and accused of downloading ‘illegal music’, reported High Peaks Pure Earth “We are not sure of the exact date of his detention. Our […]
  • Cameroon: United Nations secretary-general urged to speak up for Lapiro

    CAMPAIGN NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Cameroon / USA:United Nations secretary-general urged to speak up for Lapiro de Mbanga The secretary-general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, visits Cameroon on 10 June 2010. By sending a letter to him, the American legal advocacy organisation Freedom Now makes use of this opportunity to make a pressure to Cameroon’s president […]
  • China/Tibet: Singer imprisoned for publishing ‘subversive songs’

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Tibet / China:Singer imprisoned for publishing “subversive songs” A Chinese court has sentenced the Tibetan singer Tashi Dhondup (also sometimes spelled Tashi Dondrup) to one year and seven months’ imprisonment for producing a music album with “subversive songs”. CD-cover of ‘Torture without Trace’ The album titled ‘Torture Without Trace’ contains 13 songs expressing […]
  • Cameroon / USA: American lawyers prepare UN petition for Lapiro

    CAMPAIGN NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Cameroon / USA:American lawyers prepare UN petition for Lapiro de Mbanga A team of four lawyers from a law firm in the United States are preparing a petition to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. They argue that by keeping Lapiro de Mbanga imprisoned, Cameroon is violating international law. The lawyers […]
  • Cameroon: Lapiro shortlisted for global award

    CAMPAIGN NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Cameroon:Lapiro de Mbanga shortlisted for global award High profiled panel with conductor Daniel Barenboim points at imprisoned musician Lapiro for the final shortlist of The Orient Global Freedom to Create Prize. Meanwhile, a lawyers organisation backed up by former president of the Czech Republic, Václav Havel, joins the Freemuse campaign for the […]
  • Cameroon: Singer Lapiro de Mbanga loses appeal court

    CAMPAIGN NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Cameroon:Lapiro de Mbanga loses appeal court Cameroon power system strikes back at the popular singer. “It seems obvious that he has not got a fair trial,” says Freemuse programme officer. Press alert by Freemuse — 25 June 2009 An appeal court in Cameroon last night, on 24 June 2009, sentenced popular singer […]
  • Cameroon: Free-for-download album in support of Lapiro de Mbanga

    CAMPAIGN NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Cameroon / France:Free-for-download album in support of Lapiro de Mbanga Mondomix has launched a free-for-download album in support of the imprisoned cameroonian singer Lapiro de Mbanga. “This album compilation is no ordinary compilation,” writes Mondomix, a French online resource for worldwide music and culture. The album was produced by artists who want […]
  • Cameroon: New verdict, same prison sentence to Lapiro

    CAMPAIGN NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Cameroon:New verdict, same prison sentence to Lapiro Lapiro de Mbanga’s sentence of three years imprisonment and the fine of FCFA 280 millions was confirmed at a court hearing on 24 June 2009 in Douala. In addition, more than FCFA 500,000 was added to the singer’s fine. By Jen Bell, Freemuse’s correspondent in […]
  • 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 […]
  • Russia: Punk fans and bands claim to be persecuted and silenced

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Russia:Punk fans and bands claim to be persecuted and silenced Is the Russian punk band PTVP censored from radio and tv because of their anti-government stance, or simply because they play aggressive punk music? The debate is rolling in the media in August 2009 In July 2009, a number of punk music fans […]
  • Cameroon: International lawyers support imprisoned singer Lapiro

    CAMPAIGN NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Cameroon:International lawyers support imprisoned singer Lapiro The case against singer Lapiro de Mbanga has gained increased international attention as Freedom Now, a US based lawyers’ advocacy organisation, is now officially monitoring his case. In an interview with Radio France International in the first week of October 2009, Maran Turner, executive director of […]

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