What Drove Violations

8 February 2017

ART UNDER THREAT IN 2016: WHAT DROVE VIOLATIONS The following section of the Art under Threat in 2016 report explores the issues and tendencies that drove governments and other groups to limit artistic expression. TABLE OF CONTENTS * Click on the following titles to be taken to that part of …

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Ethiopia: Crackdown on Oromo musicians

6 January 2016

The current unrest in the Oromia region with news reports about a state crackdown on musicians is nothing new in Ethiopia, explains Endalk in this background article. In the last two decades, any Oromo singer who gravitated towards political and social activism have been subjected to intimidation, abductions, and torture. …

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Ethiopia: Three singers arrested, abducted and tortured

6 January 2016

Three Oromo protest singers have reportedly been arrested, abducted and tortured in Ethiopia during December 2015: Hawi Tezera, Jireenyaa Shifarraa and Bilisummaa Dinquu. Hawi Tezera, an ethnic Oromo singer, was reportedly beaten, arrested, released and then rearrested in the space of just seven days in December 2015 by Ethiopian government …

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Ethiopia: Unanswered question of censorshiip at Teddy Afro’s first concert

14 October 2009

Was it self-censorship or restrictions that held Teddy Afro back from playing his two most controversial songs at his triumphant ‘back-in-freedom concert’ which gathered 30,000 of his fans on 11 October 2009?By Tsigue Shiferaw — Freemuse’s correspondent in Addis Ababa   An estimated 30,000 people came on 11 October 2009 …

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Ethiopia: Teddy Afro free at last

18 August 2009

On 13 August 2009 at around 5 PM quietly outside the high court in Lideta in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian singer Teddy Afro was finally released from prison. Freemuse caught up with him the following day at this mother’s home, where he gave this short interview. Reggae and pop singer …

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Ethiopia: Teddy Afro’s trial takes a strange twist

6 August 2008

The defence lawyer of reggae singer Teddy Afro and an editor-in-chief of a local newspaper which interviewed the lawyer were arrested in Addis Ababa on 4 August 2008. The lawyer was convicted to 50 days in prison on 6 August.  By Tsigue Shiferaw – Freemuse’s reporter in Addis Ababa The …

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Ethiopia: No release for singer Teddy Afro

14 July 2008

Singer Teddy Afro is still imprisoned after he appeared in court again on 4 July 2008. “This is a political trial, where the authorities are framing a popular singer,” writes Tsigue Shiferaw By Tsigue Shiferaw – Freemuse’s reporter in Addis Ababa On Friday 4 July 2008, the Ethiopian singer Teddy …

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Ethiopia: Three witnesses testify in musician’s trial

26 May 2008

Singer Teddy Afro, who was arrested by the authorities last month for a hit and run accident back in November 2006, appeared in court on 21 May 2008. This fifth hearing allowed the prosecution to introduce its key witnesses to the court. By Tsigue Shiferaw – Freemuse’s reporter in Addis …

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Ethiopia: Popular protest singer imprisoned

7 May 2008

On 16 April 2008 the Ethiopian reggae singer Teddy Afro was suddenly arrested and charged with causing the death of a young man in a hit-and-run traffic accident in November 2006. ‘Why Teddy Afro and why now?’ his fans ask. Teddy Afro’s song ‘Jah Yasteseryal’ (which translates to ‘Redemption’ or …

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Ethiopia/Sweden: concert cancelled due to death threat

5 December 2005

Death threats against the Ethiopian pop star and reggae artist Tewodros Kassahun, also known as “Teddy Afro”, caused the Swedish festival Selam to cancel his concert in Stockholm, reports the Swedish music magazine Lira. On the internet, however, another version of this news story was published. According to, Teddy …

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Eritrea bans Ethiopian songs

21 January 2003

Bar and music shops owners have been told not to play Amharic music in public Story from BBC         ABSTRACT The people of Afghanistan under Taliban rule are subjected to an extreme form of music censorship. The only musical activity permitted is the singing of certain types …

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