The two singers performed to great acclaim from a very enthusiastic audience, consisting to a large extent of lawyers, who are particularly interested in human rights issues, and representatives from international Freedom of Expression organisations.
The Freemuse Award ceremony was integrated in the 10th Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards Event, which included a special commendation to UK journalist Heather Brooke, who has tirelessly uncovered details of British MP’s expenses, Belarus Human Rights movement, Charter 97, and Israeli publisher Yael Lerer, who has dedicated her publishing house, Andalus, to translate Arabic literature and prose into Hebrew.
Twitter was the winner of the New Media Award, supported by Google, and Radio La Voz in Peru was awarded for its fight against political corruption and support of local communities.
The evening was hosted by three of Britain’s most celebrated comedians: stand-up star Shazia Mirza, Natalie Haynes who is also a writer, and Robin Ice who has been campaigning for for a Libel Reform in UK in order to prevent the so-called “libel tourism”.
Ambitious music projects
The Freemuse award is given to an artist or an individual ,who has worked for freedom of musical expression. Last year the Freemuse award was given to veteran activist and singer Pete Seeger.
Ferhat Tunç has worked very much in the tradition of Seeger, insisting on exercising his right to perform his music in spite of several court cases and other threats against him.
Mahsa Vahdat continues to work with ambitious music projects despite all pressures that the conservative sectors of Iranian society put on woman musicians. Her next CD project will focus on the famous Iranian poet Hafez, and is expected to be released in July 2010.