• Pakistan: Music once again in the crosshairs

    On 2 July 2017, Islamabad police raided a late-night dance party at the Grand Ambassador Hotel and arrested over 50 people, mostly male, including the hotel owner and manager, on charges of “obscene acts and songs”, reported The Express Tribune on 3 July 2017. Police officers stated that the male and female participants were dancing […]
  • Egypt: Musician takes Music Syndicate head to court

    Nearly a year after his arrest on charges of “devil worshipping” and “promoting music that contradicts Egyptian religious beliefs and cultural norms”, Egyptian heavy metal musician and concert promoter Nader Sadek is suing Head of the Music Syndicate Hani Shaker for libel and defamation. The initial hearing is scheduled to take place at the Abdeen Misdemeanour Court […]
  • 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 […]
  • Georgia: Conservative religious group disrupts rock festival

    A group of priests and conservative Orthodox Christian activists attempted to violently shut down the annual Tbilisi JAM Fest, a two-day, open-air international rock festival on the outskirts of Georgia’s capital Tbilisi, reported Georgia Today on 5 June 2016. The group showed up at the festival location on 4 June 2016 in the Zahesi suburbs […]
  • Egypt: Heavy metal concert cancelled, three arrested

    Concert promoter and musician Nader Sadek, along with two others, were arrested by Giza police when they stopped a heavy metal concert on 4 June 2016 featuring Brazilian band Sepultura before it even started due to a lack of permits, reported Ahram Online on 5 June 2016. Head of the Giza Security Directorate General Ahmed […]
  • 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 […]
  • USA: Freedom of expression violated when concert was shut down

    Chicago rapper Chief Keef was to appear via hologram from California in a concert in a public park in Hammond, Indiana, on 25 July 2015, but police officers shut down the concert because they were concerned that the hologram would pose a threat to public safety. Chief Keef appeared via hologram on stage, but within […]
  • Morocco: Rapper El Haqed – besieged, alienated and oppressed

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

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

    The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has decided to cancel performances by the Ukrainian-born pianist Valentina Lisitsa over what it calls her “deeply offensive language” and “inciting hatred” on Twitter because of her comments on the conflict in Ukraine. This has created an intense public debate in the country’s media and social media about artsfreedom and self-censorship. […]
  • Russia: Heavy metal group banned for lyrical content

    A Russian court has ruled that Cannibal Corpse’s lyrics could potentially harm children. The Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI) reported that the Oktyabrsky District Court of Ufa ruled against the heavy metal band following a filed complaint that their lyrics and album covers depict “violence, the physical and mental abuse of people and animals, murder […]
  • Afghanistan: Theatre performance attacked by suicide bomber

    On 11 December 2014 a 17-year-old suicide bomber blew himself up inside a school auditorium in Kabul where a theatre play condemning suicide bombing, ‘Heartbeat: Silence After the Explosion’, was being presented by students of Kabul University’s Cinema and Theatre Department of Fine Art Faculty Several persons were killed by the bomb blast which came […]
  • Turkey: Ferhat Tunc concert interrupted by protesters and power cut

    A group of protesters intervened in folk singer Ferhat Tunç’s concert by singing the Turkish national anthem. The concert was organised by the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) in Dikili, Izmir. Following a power cut in the concert area, Ferhat Tunç ended the concert saying he would keep singing freedom songs. Clashes broke out between […]
  • Nigeria: Kuti’s nightclub in Lagos closed by authorities

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Nigeria: Kuti’s nightclub closed by authorities Presumably angered by the activism of the Femi Kuti, authorities have closed the legendary nightclub and concert hall in Lagos he runs together with his family. Anyone who enters it is “risking their life”, wrote The Independent on 5 June 2009. The first time the Nigerian authorities […]
  • New Zealand: Indonesian embassy stops musical performance

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## New Zealand / Indonesia: Indonesian embassy stops musical performance At a festival in New Zealand, an audio-visual composition which focus on the indigenous people and politics of Indonesia was withdrawn after presure from the Indonesian embassy “The rights of New Zealanders have been infringed,” stated the composer of the musical piece ‘Papua Merdeka’ […]
  • Afghanistan: Religious leaders stopped ‘immoral’ eid celebration concert

    NEWS   Afghanistan: Religious leaders stopped ‘immoral’ eid celebration concert An eid celebration concert by the popular young singer Shafiq Mureed was cancelled after local mullahs had labelled his music ‘immoral’, reported Freemuse’s regional network partners in Afghanistan. The city of Herat is one of the most sophisticated and culturally active towns in Afghanistan. A […]
  • Turkey: Kurdish singer’s concert cut short by protesters

    NEWS 25 July 2011 Turkey: Kurdish singer’s concert cut short by protesters On 15 July 2011 at the 18th İstanbul Jazz Festival, the concert of the Kurdish singer Aynur Doğan was interrupted by a group of nationalists, reported Antenna.tr in its weekly bulletin, along with Bianet News. Aynur Doğan came on stage at Harbiye Cemil […]

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