8 February 2017

ART UNDER THREAT IN 2016: RUSSIA SERIOUS VIOLATIONS: 10 ACTS OF CENSORSHIP: 16 Religious orthodoxy and political nationalism, under the guise of morality and protectionism, continued to be the main motivations behind attacks on artistic freedom in Russia in 2016. While Russia has moved from the third country with the …

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Russia: Artistic freedom threatened by nationalist and orthodox groups

6 January 2017

Religious orthodoxy and political nationalism continue to be the main motivations behind attacks on artistic freedom in Russia

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 2 December 2016.

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Ukraine: Lawmakers vote against bill banning Russian artists

11 October 2016

Lawmakers in Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, voted against a bill that would have restricted all Russian artists who wanted to tour in the country, and would only have been allowed to do so if they submitted a written condemnation of “the occupation of Ukrianian territory” to promoters, reported Billboard …

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Russia: Music video censored for having same-sex kiss

22 June 2016

A video by the British electronic band Years and Years for its single ‘Desire’ has been censored in Russia by blurring out a scene wherein the lead singer kisses another man, reported British magazine Digital Spy on 11 June 2016. Russia has been making headlines over its laws on homosexuality, …

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INSIGHT publication: Targeting the Arts 2015

18 May 2016

» Read on Targeting the Arts Documenting incidents of censorship has never been enough. From the very beginning Freemuse has attempted to put censorship of music and arts into a larger context. In 2015 we introduced INSIGHT – a series of articles providing readers with analytical stories on censorship of …

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Russia: Music portal banned

2 September 2015

The Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor has banned online music portal for offering the song ‘Kill a cop’ (‘Ubey menta’) by the Russian alternative rock band Psychea, according to the Calvert Journal. The chorus of the song reads: “Beat me, trample me, cut me to pieces — I’ve gone completely …

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Russia: Musicians protest against illegal police detentions

10 July 2015

“Police is attacking artists, taking them to police stations, confiscating their instruments, giving them court summons, and the courts then appoint huge fines based on various articles, depending on their imagination,” wrote Oleg Mokryakov, a leader of one of the music collectives playing on Arbat street, on his Facebook page. …

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Russia: Pussy Riot appeals to European court

27 May 2015

According to Moscow Times on 25 May 2015, two members of the female protest group Pussy Riot have appealed to the European Court of Human Rights after Russian police failed to prosecute a group of men who attacked them with a whip and pepper spray in front of witnesses in …

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Russia: Cultural freedom under threat

11 May 2015

In this article Lena Jonson, Head of the Russia Programme at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs in Stockholm and author of the book ‘Art and protest in Putin’s Russia’, which was published in March 2015, describes that although censorship was forbidden by the Russian Constitution of 1993, since 2012 …

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Russia: Theatre director fired for staging opera that offended church

2 April 2015

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,” …

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Russia: Creators of ‘offensive’ Wagner opera acquitted

10 March 2015

Two men who went on trial in Russia on 4 March 2015 over their staging of Richard Wagner’s ‘Tannhauser’ opera, which a senior Orthodox cleric complained was offensive to religious believers, were acquitted in court on 10 March 2015. One month after criminal proceedings launched into ‘blasphemous’ Tannhauser, officials rule …

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Russia: Supreme Court upholds sentence against Pussy Riot members

3 March 2015

Russia’s Supreme Court has refused to review the sentence of the Pussy Riot punk band members, the court’s press office told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI). The court dismissed an appeal filed by the band member Yekaterina Samutsevich seeking reversal of the verdict. Pussy Riot’s legal case timeline: • …

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Russia: Heavy metal group banned for lyrical content

1 January 2015

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 …

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Russia: Court bans music and artwork of American metal band

8 December 2014

A Russian court ruled that translations of the American death metal band Cannibal Corpse’s lyrics and artwork should be banned because they “could damage the mental health of children” On 28 November 2014, Ufa’s Oktyabrsky district court approved prosecutors’ requests that Cannibal Corpse’s album artwork and any Russian translations of …

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Russia: The street artists that drive authorities mad

31 October 2014

Russian street artists are twisting and testing the lines between art, activism and hooliganism. While most artists would define their various protest actions and expressions as art, or street art, the Russian authorities only see illegal hooliganism. This report goes behind the arts scenes in the country which became internationally …

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Russia: Opera premiere cancelled after its composer was attacked

4 September 2014

The premiere of a new opera in St. Petersburg has been cancelled after two venues refused to host it and the composer was savagely beaten and death threats were issued. The opera ‘New Jerusalem’ is composed by award-winning local composer Ilya Demutsky with librettist Artyom Suslov. The opera follows the …

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Russia: Campaign to strip musician of state awards

21 August 2014

Some Russian lawmakers are supporting a campaign against rock musician Andrei Makarevich, threatening to strip him of state awards after he performed for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the eastern Ukraine. Andrei Makarevich is founder of the rock group Mashina Vremeni (‘Time Machine’). He gave a charity concert on 12 …

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Russia: Pussy Riot members appeal sentence in Supreme Court

13 May 2014

The sentence of controversial Pussy Riot punk band members has been appealed again. The band member Yekaterina Samutsevich has filed with Russia’s Supreme Court a supervisory appeal against the verdict. In August 2012, the Khamovnichesky District Court in Moscow sentenced Samutsevich and two other Pussy Riot members – Maria Alyokhina …

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Russia: Musicians speak of censorship, persecution and viciousness

30 April 2014

Violations of freedom of expression in Russia hit the frontpages of newspapers and websites all over the world in 2012 when two members of the Russian punk group Pussy Riot were imprisoned. Many other music groups and artists in Russia face censorship and persecution – but their cases are never …

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Russia: Pussy Riot members detained three times

22 February 2014

Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who spent nearly two years in prison for protesting against Putin in a church, said they had been detained three times while trying to film a new music video in Sochi just before the Olympic Games were to begin. This is the first music video …

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Russia: Freedom to imprisoned Pussy Riot members

4 January 2014

Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina were among those prisoners released on a general amnesty on 23 December 2013. Among the criteria for amnesty were those in prison for non-violent offences and mothers of young children. “We didn’t ask for any pardon. I would have sat here until …

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Russia: Freedom promised to the two imprisoned Pussy Riot members

19 December 2013

The Russian State Duma has passed an amnesty bill submitted by Russian President Vladimir Putin that seems to promise freedom for the two jailed members of the punk protest group Pussy Riot, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina. According to the attorney Irina Khrunova, Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina may be freed before …

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Russia: Pussy Riot appeal referred back to Moscow Court

17 December 2013

The Supreme Court has referred an appeal by three members of the Pussy Riot punk group against their prison sentences back to a Moscow court. Moscow City Court rejected an appeal against their sentences on 29 May 2013. The defense team then appealed that ruling at the Supreme Court. The …

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Russia: Pussy Riot members’ appeal accepted by Supreme Court

13 December 2013

Russia’s Supreme Court has accepted the appeal by two imprisoned members of the punk band Pussy Riot, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, and ordered a review of prison terms for the two, saying that the lower court ignored mitigating factors. The ruling on 10 December 2013 came three months before …

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Russia: Pussy Riot member’s case against prison dismissed

2 December 2013

Investigators have dismissed again a request filed by convicted Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova to initiate a case against the administration of the Mordovian colony where she served her sentence for absence of a crime in the officials’ acts, the Investigation Committee reported. On 23 September 2013, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova declared …

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Russia: Pussy Riot’s Alyokhina appealing to Supreme Court

27 November 2013

The defense of a Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina, who was convicted last year of hooliganism for singing a song against President Vladimir Putin, will file a supervisory appeal against her sentence with the Supreme Court, her lawyer said. The appeal from the feminist punk rocker follows a similar application …

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Russia: Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova located

18 November 2013

News of jailed Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova finally surfaced after she was incommunicado for 26 days. The husband of the Russian band member said she was being held in a prison hospital in Siberia. According to Verzilov, there is a chance that his wife might spend the remainder of …

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Russia: Ombudsman confirms – Pussy Riot member transferred to new prison

13 November 2013

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has been transferred to a penal colony in her native Krasnoyarsk region due to her complaints about her previous facility, Russia’s human rights ombudsman said on 12 November 2013. The new prison was chosen to ensure Nadezhda Tolokonnikova’s safety and help her “resocialize” in a more comfortable environment, …

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Russia: Jailed Pussy Riot member appeals to high court

12 November 2013

Pussy Riot punk band member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has asked Russia’s Supreme Court to throw out her conviction and two-year prison sentence, her lawyer said on 7 November 2013. Khrunova said the appeal included an argument that the protest, which band members said was meant to criticize close ties between Putin …

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Russia: Pussy Riot member punished with move to prison in Siberia

6 November 2013

The husband of the imprisoned Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova said he had received “100 percent reliable” information that Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is being moved to a prison in the Krasnoyarsk region, four time zones and 2,000 miles from Moscow. The specific prison is not yet known, said the husband, Petya …

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Russia: Pussy Riot member’s new prison location held secret

4 November 2013

Convicted Pussy Riot band member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has not been heard from since she was transferred from one prison to another, her husband Petr Verzilov told international news media on 2 November 2013. Petr Verzilov said his wife was moved from a Mordovia prison to a prison in Chelyabinsk on …

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Russia: Imprisoned Pussy Riot member moved to another prison

24 October 2013

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, one of the two imprisoned members of Pussy Riot, is reportedly to be moved from a prison camp in Mordovia republic, allegedly one of the toughest women’s prison in Russia, to another prison in Alatyr in the neighboring region of Chuvashia. In two rounds, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has been …

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Russia: Pussy Riot member subject to death threats and isolation

24 September 2013

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who has beenconvicted to two years in prison over a “punk prayer” protest against Vladimir Putin in a Moscow cathedral in August 2012, has been moved into isolation after she announced to be starting a hunger strike. On 23 September 2013, a letter by the 23-year-old imprisoned Pussy-Riot …

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Russia: Jailed Pussy Riot member in hunger strike

23 May 2013

Maria Alyokhina in prison. Photo: courtesy of RIA Novosti Freemuse Statement regarding Maria Alyokhina: Freemuse learns with dismay of the launching of a hunger strike by jailed Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina, in protest against the brutal conditions of her detention and the lack of fairly adjudicatation of her conviction. …

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Russia: Request for parole from Pussy Riot member rejected in court

30 April 2013

A court in the Russian region of Mordovia has denied a request for parole from 23-year-old Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, mother of a five-year-old and one of two jailed members of the feminist punk collective Pussy Riot, reported Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty with quotes from Interfax, AFP, and Russia Today …

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Cameroon/Russia: The artist vs. the state

14 December 2012

  In the session ‘THE ARTIST VS. THE STATE: THE CASE OF LAPIRO DE MBANGA AND THE CAMPAIGN FOR PUSSY RIOT’, Maran Turner and Alexander Cheparukhin give insight into two cases where artists have been speaking out and as a result ended up in prison. Maran Turner, Executive Director of …

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Guide for how to deal with cases of incitement to hatred

10 December 2012

“A clearer approach is needed for states on how to address incitement to hatred in domestic laws, and how to practically assess individual cases,” writes ARTICLE 19 as the organisation published a 52-pages policy guidelines to do just that: to set out a clear path forward on the issues of …

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Russia: Interview with released Pussy Riot member

12 November 2012

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 sent to prison camps …

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Russia: Pussy Riot member freed, two others to remain in prison

10 October 2012

  On 10 October 2012, a Moscow appeals court freed one of the jailed Pussy Riot members, 30-year-old Ekaterina Samutsevitsj, but upheld the two-year prison sentence for the two others who are to serve remainder of their sentences in penal colony. All three women were convicted in August of hooliganism …

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Rusland: Pussy Riot p

28 August 2012

            Klaus Slavensky taler foran Ruslands ambassade Ingen anden musiker-retssag de seneste 14      

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Russia: Pussy Riot on everyone’s lips

23 August 2012

Pussy Riot’s court case in Moscow suddenly placed musical freedom of expression high on the agenda of the Western media during July and August 2012. According to Google News, Pussy Riot was mentioned in no less than two million different news articles on the net, and receives a staggering 100 …

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Russia: Pussy Riot found guilty and sentenced to two years in prison

17 August 2012

    On 17 August 2012, the three members of the punk collective Pussy Riot received guilty verdicts and were each sentenced to two years’ imprisonment. According to the judge, they had “deeply insulted the faith of believers with their disrespectful criminal act and that the punk protest was blasphemous …

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Russia: Freemuse calls for free and fair trial for Pussy Riot

30 July 2012

Freemuse sends appeals to President Vladimir Putin, Kirill I of the Russian Orthodox Church, the public and district prosecutor and the district court, calling for a fair and free trial for the three band members of Pussy Riot. At a closed hearing on 20 July 2012, the Khomovnichesky District Court …

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Russia: Freemuse calls for free and fair trial for Pussy Riot

30 July 2012

Freemuse sends appeals to President Vladimir Putin, Kirill I of the Russian Orthodox Church, the public and district prosecutor and the district court, calling for a fair and free trial for the three band members of Pussy Riot. At a closed hearing on 20 July 2012, the Khomovnichesky District Court …

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Russia: Detention of Pussy Riot members extended again

25 June 2012

  On 20 June 2012, a Tagansky district court ruled to keep the three detained band members of Pussy Riot in prison until 24 July 2012 while the police probe continues. Since February 2012, three band members of the all-female punk rock band from Moscow have been in the Butyrskaya …

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Russia: Detention of Pussy Riot members extended to three months

20 April 2012

  Following the punk group Pussy Riot’s protest song in Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral on 21 February 2012, Russian authorities arrested three women who are held in detention until their case comes before court on 24 June. Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were arrested on 4 March 2012 and Ekaterina …

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Russia: Punk band arrested after protesting against Putin

7 March 2012

  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 understand the Russian …

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Russia: Minister to censor online music of the youth

8 August 2011

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 and our roots,” Rashid Nurgaliyev was …

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Russia: Rock critic faces prison

6 June 2011

  The Russian rock critic and cultural commentator Art Troitsky (Artemy Troitsky) is in court facing four lawsuits, including a two-year prison sentence for “criminal slander”, for being too outspoken for modern Kremlin sensibilities. “Having four lawsuits against me and being forced to go to court twice every week has …

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Russia: Concert banned but protest singer continue unplugged

27 August 2010

On 22 August 2010 Yuri Shevchuk, a popular rock singer and political critic, defied the Russian authorities’ sudden ban on a staged protest concert and performed without amplification. A protest rally accompanied by a concert led by environmental activists fighting to save the pristine Khimki forest north of Moscow had initially …

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Russia: Rapper jailed for 10 days for offending police

3 August 2010

The popular Russian rapper Ivan Alekseev, also known as Noize MC, has been sentenced to 10 days ‘administrative imprisonment’ for offending the police at a concert held in Volgograd on 31 July 2010. According to the Russian online forum, Volgograd Magistrate Court on 2 August 2010 found the rapper …

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Russia: City bans heavy metal music in caf

31 May 2010

Authorities in the West-Russian city of Belgorod has banned performances of heavy metal music in a bid to “save the city’s youth”. Governor Evgenie Savchenko in Belgorod, situated 500 kilometres south of Moscow, wants to “promote the suppression of satanic activity,” and to ensure “maintenance of spiritual safety of the …

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7 April 2010

Sorted alphabetical by author’s first name: Somalia: Music ban on radio stations was expected On 3 April 2010, the commander for Hisbul Islam in Mogadishu issued a 10-day ultimatum to radio stations to stop broadcasting music or face Sharia-based penalties By Abdulkadir M. Wa’ays 07 April 2010 Somalia: Music suppressor …

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Russia: ‘Government fights outspoken musicians, says rock singer

24 August 2009

Music censorship exists in full glory in Russia, lead singer of the Russian rock group Televizor, Mikhail Borzykin, told ‘The Russian government fights outspoken musicians through censorship,’ said the rock singer. However, “today’s censorship does not happen directly. Instead of making a list to include certain songs or artists …

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Russia: Punk fans and bands claim to be persecuted and silenced

24 August 2009

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 allegedly were added to the Russian government’s …

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Russia: Government plan to ban emo and goth music

22 July 2008

Russian lawmakers propose to ban teenage subculture rock music styles such as emo and goth from the country’s schools. Emo music fans in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk protested against the ban on 19 July 2008. Emo has come to Russia – and its leaders want no part of it. The music …

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Germany/Russia: Was Hitler listening to ‘forbidden’ music?

9 August 2007

The newspaper International Herald Tribune reports that a record collection possibly belonging to Adolf Hitler has been found in Russia.   The nearly 100 records were stored in the attic of a former Soviet intelligence agent who recently died. The agent left a note behind him, saying that he took …

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Chechnya: Music of defiance published on CD

21 May 2007

Some performers of the compilation album ‘Songs of Defiance’ have gone into protective self-exile. Even outside the borders of Chechnya, recording them is officially discouraged, as Michael Church, arrested for doing so, can testify          The first-ever CD of North Caucasus music, entitled ‘Songs of Defiance – Music of Chechnya …

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Chechnya: Recording songs of defiance and survival

21 May 2007

The compilation album ‘Songs of Defiance – Music of Chechnya and the North Caucasus’ was recorded and compiled by music critic Michael Church. In this article which he wrote for BBC Music Magazine in May 2007, he tells the details of how he was arrested while recording a choir in North …

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Russia: Radical Christians want pop concert banned

12 September 2006

Controversy and outrage follows American pop singer Madonna to her world-wide ‘Confessions Tour’ where she is “crucified” on a cross on stage. The act has sparked anger from various religious groups. In Moscow, she received death threats. Catholics expressed outrage at Madonna’s decision to be displayed hanging to a cross …

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Europe, Russia

12 January 2006

EUROPE, RUSSIA        Freemusepedia main page       Spirit of Wikipedia: Continously under construction This ‘Freemusepedia’ is based on information from Freemuse’s publications. Thanks to continued contributions from our readers, it keeps being updated, expanded and improved. If you have additional information to contribute, or wish to make a correction, …

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Russia: Young punk musician killed

29 November 2005

Timur Kacharava, a Russian musician and founder of the punk-hardcore-trash band Sandinista, has been stabbed to death in the streets of St. Petersburg. In the evening of 13 November, 2005, 20-year-old Timur Kacharava, a student of St. Petersburg State University, was followed, attacked and killed on the main city avenue …

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…-1699 Europe, Russia

1 January 2001

375 B.C.   Greece The first significant written account of a proposal to censor music is found in Plato’s ‘Republic’, written in roughly 375 B.C. In one of the most famous passages of ancient literature to deal with music, we find Socrates, Plato’s mentor and mouthpiece, engaged in a dialogue …

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1800-1899 Europe, Russia

1 January 2001

1800s. Germany. Clara Schumann (1819-1892) Clara Schumann’s father Friedrich Wieck had resolved before her birth that she should become a piano virtuoso to profit by her financially. This is the reason, why she got an intensive musical education contrary to the most female musical coevals. Already as a teen she …

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1950-2000 Europe, Russia

1 January 2001

1967. United Kingdom. Scott Walker Scott Walker’s cover of Jacques Brel’s song ‘Jacky’ is the first record to be banned by BBC Radio 1. 1967. Greece. Mikis Theodorakis The 1967 military coup in Greece led to the imprisonment and torture of internationally known singer Mikis Theodorakis. Eventually he was released …

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Paul McCartney

2 January 2000

PAUL MCCARTNEY Russian politicians: no McCartney in Red Square A large group of Russian MPs is trying to ban a concert by Paul McCartney in Red Square 23 May 2003   Israel: British musician defied death threats by militants Paul McCartney defied death threats by religious militants in the Middle …

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