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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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Sweden: Metal band allegedly receives threats after cancelling gig

15 August 2016

Swedish metal band Black Ingvars have reported receiving multiple anonymous death threats after they decided to pull out of a summer festival organised by far-right, nationalist party Swedish Democrats, reported Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet on 8 August 2016. “I have received emails where people write that they hope I’ll die in …

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INSIGHT publication: Targeting the Arts 2015

18 May 2016

» Read on issuu.com 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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Nordic Ministers of Culture declare support for artistic freedom

4 May 2016

“Artistic and creative expressions, as an integral part of the human right to freedom of expressions, is critical both to the development of cultures and to the functioning of democratic societies,” said a declaration by the Nordic Ministers of Culture adopted at a seminar on 2 May 2016 during the World …

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Sweden: Belarus has a winner in the Eurovision village

4 May 2016

A week before the Eurovision final, Belarus has a winner in the Eurovision Village. Unfortunately he is banned in his home country! On Sunday 8 May, Lavon Volski will receive the Freemuse Award 2016 for his assiduous and fearless fight for freedom of musical expression in Belarus. The award will …

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Sweden: Proposal for Eurovision to focus on freedom of expression

14 September 2015

City of Stockholm should not only take part in organising the Eurovision Song Contest in May 2016, but should also pay special attention to freedom of expression for musicians and vocalists in the world. This is what the liberal party Folkpartiet in Stockholm has suggested in a letter to the …

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Sweden: Art under threat

12 May 2015

Several Swedish artists live under constant threat from nazis and extreme rightwing groups. For years, they have been subjected to threats, harassment and attacks directed at their art and themselves. The artists despair at the inability of the state to protect them. By Sanna Samuelsson    INSIGHT  Published in collaboration …

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Sweden: Artists and writers join forces against threats from the extreme right

13 February 2015

Three leading organisations representing artists and writers in Sweden are launching a joint initiative to create awareness about right wing threats targeting artists and writers. The three organisations KRO/KIF, The Swedish Writers’ Union and Swedish PEN decided to create the initiative after Konstnären, KRO/KIF’s quarterly magazine, in the fall documented …

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Swedish city offers Egyptian musician safe city residence

21 October 2014

The 27-year-old Egyptian singer and Freemuse Award winner Ramy Essam will be residing in Malmö, Sweden, for the next two years. This is a direct consequence of the interogation in June 2014 by the National Security Police and the continuous censorship of his music in Egypt. Ramy Essam was hailed …

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Sweden: Public broadcaster excludes hit rap song from playlists

19 December 2013

Because of ‘violent lyrics’ and a ‘stance against the Sweden Democrats and the Moderates’, the song ‘Black Doves and Wilted Lilies’ (‘Svarta duvor och vissna liljor’) by Timbuktu (real name: Jason Diakité) and Sebbe Staxx (real name: Sebastian Stakset) will not be included on the national Swedish radio’s playlists and …

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Swedish city offers Gaza rapper safe city residency

19 September 2013

Video interview with rapper Khaled Harara from Palestine who the Swedish city of Gothenburg has announced will be offered a ‘safe city’ residency for two years. In April 2013, the 26-year-old rapper Khaled Harara came to the Freemuse secretariat in Copenhagen. Having toured Denmark, he was afraid of returning to …

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Sweden: ‘Impossible Music Sessions’ in Stockholm

27 May 2013

On 11 June 2013, music written by the censored artists Pussy Riot and Arya Aramnejad will be interpreted and presented in the Swedish capital Stockholm by the artists Jennie Abrahamson, Linnéa Olsson and Love Antell. The concert, entitled ‘The Impossible Music Sessions Stockholm Session #1’ is organised by SKAP, the …

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Swedish Radio P2: attention on Music Freedom Day

28 February 2013

Sunday 3 March is proclaimed musicians Freedom Day by the organisation Freemuse which advocates for musicians’ freedom of speech. On this day, the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation’s radio channel P2 will put its full attention on the fact that artists all over the world are still being persecuted, censored and imprisoned …

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Sweden: Concerts with Jamaican reggae singer Sizzla cancelled

12 April 2012

In March 2012, the 35-year-old Jamaican reggae musician Sizzla Kalonji was stopped from performing in Sweden, second time around in the same month, because of his infamous homophobic lyrics. Sizzla was scheduled to perform in Slakthuset in Stockholm on 28 March 2012, but few hours before the concert, Slakthuset’s management …

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Freemuse Award 2011: Ramy Essam honoured in Stockholm

21 November 2011

Award ceremonyfromSKAP.  Press service:  Click here for sound files and photos in high resolution On 21 November 2011 the Egyptian singer Ramy Essam received the Freemuse Award 2011 at a ceremony in Södra Teatern in Stockholm, Sweden. “My dream is to spread the voice of Egypt all over the world. Thank …

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Sweden: The conference ‘Right! Freedom of Music & Speech’

2 November 2011

  How can we support authors and musicians in the face of censorship and repression? Are authors free to express their minds in our modern, digital world? And how is freedom of expression connected to authors’ rights? The questions will be investigated at the international conference ‘Right! Freedom of Music …

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Sweden: Death threats to DJ for Facebook debate about gender issues

8 August 2011

A seemingly uncontroversial post on the Facebook profile of the club and concert hall Slakthuset in Stockholm resulted in death threats against DJ Tova Wellton. “Book more women, please” said Tova Wellton’s Facebook post to Slakthuset that ended in a heated debate with death threats and a discussion with more …

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Sweden: Hip-hop performances cancelled because of controversial lyrics

9 May 2011

The hip-hop group Labyrint from Uppsala was stopped from performing in Växjö and Värnamo after a notice from police authorities saying their lyrics glorify drugs. Labyrint was scheduled to perform in a youth club in Växjö. But when police drew the attention of the Municipality of Växjö to the group’s …

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Sweden: What do Swedish music associations do for freedom of speech?

1 December 2010

In this commentary, composer and acting chairman of the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance, Alfons Karabuda, writes about artistic creators and freedom of expression. The commentary was published in Swedish in his blog on Kultururskaparna.com on 23 November 2010. “I shall close my dirty mouth only after death” Although this blog …

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Sweden: Safe cities for musicians

17 November 2010

All over Europe city councils are hosting persecuted writers. Why not persecuted musicians? Chairperson of the Swedish Arts Council, Kerstin Brunnberg, raised the question on 15 November 2010. Kerstin Brunnberg said to the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation: “I am going to promote the idea of including musicians in the safe city …

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Sweden: Eurovision Song Contest winner creates controversy

23 April 2009

Popular radio channels normally promote national Eurovision Song Contest winners. But not this year in Sweden where the country’s mezzo soprano winner is claimed to be “unfitted” for mainstream radio formats. Why is this year’s winner of the Swedish Eurovision Song Contest played less than previous year’s winners? “Because radio …

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Freemuse Award 2009: video report and interview from Stockholm

7 March 2009

Sweden / USA: Freemuse Award to American singer Pete SeegerVideo report from the award ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden, on 3 March 2009, where Pete Seeger’s grandson, Tao Rodríguez-Seeger, received the award on his behalfBy Mik Aidt     Wimpy Wasp Player   Flash Player upgrade required   Read about Pete …

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Freemuse Award 2009: video report and interview from Stockholm

7 March 2009

  Sweden / USA: Freemuse Award to American singer Pete SeegerVideo report from the award ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden, on 3 March 2009, where Pete Seeger’s grandson, Tao Rodríguez-Seeger, received the award on his behalf By Mik Aidt     Wimpy Wasp Player   Flash Player upgrade required   Read …

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How Music Freedom Day 2009 was observed in Stockholm

4 March 2009

Two seminars and concert in Stockholm became a beautiful, yet serious and powerful manifestation for musicians’ human rights Click on the audio link on the right… and while you listen, take a look at the photos below. This will give you an idea of what the Freemuse award ceremony in …

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How Music Freedom Day 2009 was observed in Stockholm

4 March 2009

  Sweden: Advocating human rights for musiciansTwo seminars and concert in Stockholm became a beautiful, yet serious and powerful manifestation for musicians’ human rights Click on the audio link on the right… and while you listen, take a look at the photos below. This will give you an idea of …

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Music Freedom Day events in Sweden – 2009

3 March 2009

Concert event and seminars in Sweden on 3 March Artists from Turkey, Zimbabwe and Iran facing censorship join forces with Swedish Award Winner in a unique concert when Re:Orient in collaboration with Freemuse organise a concert and a seminar dedicated to freedom of expression for musicians and composers. In their …

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Music Freedom Day events in Sweden – 2009

3 March 2009

Music Freedom Day: Concert event and seminars in Sweden on 3 March Artists from Turkey, Zimbabwe and Iran facing censorship join forces with Swedish Award Winner in a unique concert when Re:Orient in collaboration with Freemuse organise a concert and a seminar dedicated to freedom of expression for musicians and …

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Sweden: Minister of Migration welcomes visa white paper

21 January 2009

“I believe the ‘white paper’ points its fingers at very essential problems such as lack of transparency and information,” said Tobias Billström, the Swedish Minister of Migration, in a live radio programme at the national Swedish Radio, SR, on 16 January 2009. In a discussion with report writer Ole Reitov, …

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Denmark/Sweden/Germany: In court for selling Nazi music

18 November 2008

Two men were arrested in Denmark on 27 August 2008 for allegedly financing, commissioning and distributing recordings that have been deemed illegal because of their extremist content. The Danish Ministry of Justice said that one of the men is German and one is Danish.       Sources DW-world.de – …

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Sweden: Teacher fired because of his music

27 June 2008

A school teacher in the small town Västervik was kicked out after only one week’s employment because the school found out that he played in a heavy metal band, reported the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation on 24 June 2008. The school headmaster, Sven Torstensson, did not approve of the song lyrics of the …

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Finland/Sweden/Norway: The destruction of a minority’s music culture

21 April 2008

As a comment to Freemuse’s interview with Sámi singer Marie Boine, ‘This music was from the devil’, the Finnish ethnomusicologist and musician Ilpo Saastamoinen shares his insight and personal experiences with the oppression and destruction of Sámi music culture. By Ilpo Saastamoinen In her interview, Marie Boine tells the truth. …

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Sweden: Explicit lyrics cause heated debate about women’s sexuality

11 July 2007

In Sweden a song by Frida Muranius has caused furore. After being banned on two regional public service radio stations, the song lyrics are debated in newspapers, radio, web forums and court yards in the country. Almost everyone has an opinion about Muranius’ sexually explicit lyrics – journalists and academic …

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Sweden: rap band taken to court for ‘hate speech’

25 January 2007

Whether calling the police ‘pigs’ and encouraging to start a “war” against them goes beyond the limits of the rights to freedom of expression in rap music is to be tried in a Swedish court Two members of a rap band from the south of Sweden, Skåne, are taken to …

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Three films about music and Islam hit Scandinavia

24 January 2007

Sweden and Denmark: Three films about music and Islam hit ScandinaviaPakistani rock star and filmmaker Salman Ahmad, and editor of the UK world music magazine Songlines Simon Broughton will make a quick visit to Denmark and Sweden in February to show three documentari films highlighting essential discussions concerning music and Islam. …

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East Turkistan: Uyghur composer died in exile

6 November 2006

From his exile in Sweden the Uyghur composer, musician and poet Kurash Sultan was like an ambassador to the Uyghurs – the indigenous people in East Turkistan in north-western China. He died 47 years old from a heart stroke on 29 October 2006By Freemuse Kurash Sultan was invited to speak …

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Sweden: Religious group attempts to silence music

28 April 2006

On 25 April 2006, a documentary programme on SVT, the National Swedish TV, showed how a group of young, religious men in Sweden act as if they were an Islamic police force and try to prevent Swedish Muslims – basically of Somali origin – from listening to musicBy Freemuse “Music …

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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 Cyberethiopia.com, Teddy …

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China/Sweden: Kurash Sultan

19 October 2004

  21 July 1959 – 29 October 2006)   The Uighurs, an indigenous people in East Turkestan in north-western China, are struggling to keep their language and their culture. The Uighur composer, musician and poet Kurash Sultan, was imprisoned and tortured by the authorities in East Turkestand, and many of …

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Sweden: Dennis Lyxzen / TINC

11 July 2002

Video interview Dennis Lyxz Part I Dennis Lyxz Part II Is free speech taken for granted?     Part III Can music still be political?     “The (international) Noise Conspiracy is a political rock band, with no ambition to be politically correct or keeping their ideas underground. A band …

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