Freemuse Newsletter no. 1 / 2008

3 March 2008

African reggae-star Tiken Jah Fakoly
first Freemuse Award winner

Tiken Jah Fakoly, the outspoken Ivorian reggae singer who has tirelessly denounced political
corruption, is the first winner of the new Freemuse Award. An idol for millions of Africans,
who feel disenfranchised and repressed, Tiken Jah has never compromised. In December 2007
he was declared ‘persona non grata’ in Senegal after critisising Senegal’s president and
calling for democracy.

The Freemuse Award is announced today at Oslo’s Nobel Peace Center on the occasion of
Music Freedom Day.

Read more:


Music Freedom Day marked world-wide
– from Afghanistan to Congo and Oslo

Today, musicians, media and schools on five continents mark the annual ‘Music Freedom Day’.
In Afghanistan where musical freedom is still limited, 1,000 balloons will fly over
Mazar-i-Sharif City to convey the message to the world that Afghans also love music!

Read more:


Music Freedom Day concert broadcasted in 13 countries
The Music Freedom Day concert featuring Ferhat Tunç, Kris Kristofferson, Marie Boine
and Chiwoniso will be broadcasted in 13 countries in Europe. Recorded by Norwegian
Broadcasting Corporation and organised by Rikskonsertene, the concert takes place at
Oslo’s Nobel Peace Center. Amongst the countries who will broadcast the concert are
Serbia, Portugal, Poland and Iceland.

Read more:


Radio Freemuse: Censorship in Africa and Pakistan
Radio Freemuse is “on air”. Three radio programmes produced specifically for
community radios are now available for broadcasters.
A 15 minutes radio report focus on censorship in Africa and includes interviews
with Tiken Jah Fakoly, Chiwoniso, Femi Kuti, Fadal Day, and Roger Lucey. Another
programme focus on Taliban attacks on music shops in Pakistan. This programme is
in Pashto language and includes a full English transcription.
Freemuse’s radio service includes a report on censorship in Zimbabwe as well.

Read more:


Afghan musicians speak out about censorship
During the Taliban regime all music was banned in Afghanistan. But even before this
dark chapter of Afghan history musicians suffered from censorship. Freemuse now
presents 10 unique video interviews with Afghan musicians – as a follow-up on
John Baily’s Freemuse report ‘Can you stop the birds singing?’

Read more:


‘Stopping the Music’ at Museum of World Cultures
On 6 March ‘Stopping the Music’ is screened at the Museum of World Cultures in
Gothenburg, Sweden. The event is part of a major exhibition on resistance
and underground movements/music. Michael Drewett’s exhibition about music
censorship in South Africa during apartheid is also part of the exhibition.
Singer Roger Lucey, former police agent Paul Erasmus, and Freemuse are invited to
present and discuss the film.

Read more:


One million visitors on
At the Freemuse secretariat, we opened a bottle of champagne last week, celebrating that our website has now had its first 1,000,000 visitors. The website has also recently been appoved
to become part of the global ‘Google News’ service which is expected to give the Freemuse news
stories even more coverage in international media.

See the site:




Read more news features news stories
and background documents on music censorship every week.

Recent news flashes

Yemen: Concert became courageous manifestation against terrorism
The Middle East: New restrictions on satellite tv




– The World Forum on Music and Censorship
Nytorv 17, 3rd floor
1450 Copenhagen K
Tel  +45 33 32 10 27

Freemuse (FREEdom of MUSical Expression) is an international
human rights organisation advocating freedom of expression for musicians
and composers worldwide.

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More news on

Azerbaijan: Rapper arrested, allegedly for song criticising police
“We strongly condemn the detention and harassment of popular Azerbaijani rapper Dado,” wrote The Art for Democracy in Baku
04 March 2013
Pakistan: Manifestations of tolerance and acceptance of music, art and culture
On Music Freedom Day 2013 at a local hotel in Peshawar, music lovers put their voices together to ensure the freedom of artistic and musical expressions.
04 March 2013
Turkey: Imprisoned Grup Yorum member silenced in court
“I have been imprisoned for the last 14 months, I want to talk,” said musician Seçkin Taygun Aydoğan from the Kurdish band Grup Yorum to the judge...
04 March 2013
Pakistan: The undeclared ban on playing music lingers on
Sher Alam Shinwari set out to investigate what the situation is like in Peshawar on Music Freedom Day 2013. He found stifling sounds of Pashto music amid militancy and hostility
01 March 2013
Press release: Broadcasters and artists join Music Freedom Day 2013
Sunday 3 March 2013 we commemorate the six musicians who were killed in the last year, and show support to the many who have been imprisoned and persecuted.
28 February 2013
Norway: First ever 'safe haven city' for musicians
On 14 February 2013 the Norwegian Musicians’ Union presented the first ever ‘safe haven city’ within the field of music: Harstad
27 February 2013
Freemuse annual report: Violations of freedom of musical expression in 2012
In 2012 Freemuse registered a total of 173 cases of attacks on musicians and violations of their rights. We reported about six artists who were killed, and 14 were imprisoned
26 February 2013
France: Rap lyrics targeted
The French Minister of the Interior Manuel Valls wants to fight “aggressive” rap lyrics attacking the state, insulting the flag and women.
25 February 2013
India: Band in Kashmir decides to dissolve after threats
After a fatwa issued by an imam, as well as harassment and threats on social media, the band Pragaash from Kashmir decided to dissolve
22 February 2013
Mexico: ‘Narcocorridos’ can be sung again in Sinaloa
The Mexican Supreme Court found that Sinaloa’s governor had exceeded his powers when he banned public performances of drug ballads, so now the ban will be lifted
19 February 2013

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