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USA: Christian music festival drops band due to gay singer

22 September 2016

Christian band Everyday Sunday was dropped from northern California Christian music festival Joshua Fest as 11 production staff threatened to walk out if the recently out lead singer of the band, Trey Pearson, took the stage, reported Billboard on 12 September 2016. Joshua Fest owner Aaron Diello said that his production …

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USA: Schools reverse radio station ban on buses

12 September 2016

Portland Public Schools in the capital of US western state Oregon have gone back on their ban of particular radio stations on public school buses, which included radio stations playing rap music, reported Oregon Live on 30 August 2016. A memo sent out by director of student transportation Teri Brady …

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USA: Anti-Donald Trump song censored

9 August 2016

US presidential nominee Donald Trump and the secret service demanded changes be made to two songs by rapper YG on his latest album released in June 2016 for anti-Trump lyrics, reported entertainment news outlet Vulture on 16 June 2016. The two censored songs – ‘FDT’ (an abbreviation for Fuck Donald …

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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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Mexico: Two more states ban narcocorridos

9 March 2016

The governors of the states of Sinaloa and Coahuila are imposing restrictions on public performances of narcocorridos and movimiento alterado artists, joining the state of Chihuahua, which was the first state in the newest round to ban narcocorridos beginning in 2015. There are now three states in Mexico imposing limitations …

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Mexico: Musicians abducted, one killed

19 November 2015

After midnight of 17 November 2015, the narcocorridos band Los 4 Herederos was attacked in the town of Taray in the state of Jalisco. One of the musicians was killed. An armed commando in three trucks intercepted the band’s pickup truck and violently kidnapped the members of the band as …

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Cuba: Gorki Águila arrested again

16 November 2015

Cuban musician Gorki Águila was arrested on 7 November 2015 in Havana, as he was traveling in a car with two journalists from the television channel France24, reported 14ymedio. The composer and singer managed to call the newspaper from the Fifth Police Station in the Playa municipality, where he was …

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Canada: Religious festival petitions to reverse ban

3 November 2015

More than 20,000 people have signed a petition urging the City of Toronto and its mayor to allow an annual open-air musical festival to continue in August 2016, after the city didn’t grant the festival a permit because it would contravene city policy against “proselytising.” The issue for the city …

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USA/Algeria: Heavy metal music keeps stirring up controversy

14 September 2015

Heavy metal bands continue to face bans and controversies around the world. In the United States, two scheduled concerts with an Australian deathcore group have been cancelled. In Algeria, heavy metal fans have been accused of Satanism in a tv programme, causing an uproar in social media. Whenever and wherever …

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Cuba: Freemuse calls for the release of imprisoned artists

28 August 2015

The Cuban graffiti artist and activist Danilo Maldonado Machado, best known as El Sexto, who has been arbitrarily imprisoned for eight months in the Valle Grande prison, located west of Havana, has initiated a hunger strike, according to El Nuevo Harald and various other sources. El Sexto was arrested on …

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Cuba: Cuban rocker Gorki Aguila arrested

6 August 2015

According to Capital Hill Cubans and other sources, Castro regime officials showed up on 5 August 2015 at the home of Cuban rocker Gorki Aguila and arrested him. According to his daughter, Gorki Aguila was given no cause for his arrest Aguila, front-man of the band Porno Para Ricardo, recently …

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USA: Freedom of expression violated when concert was shut down

3 August 2015

Chicago rapper Chief Keef was to appear via hologram from California in a concert in a public park in Hammond, Indiana, on 25 July 2015, but police officers shut down the concert because they were concerned that the hologram would pose a threat to public safety. Chief Keef appeared via …

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USA: Rapper censored at Billboard Music Awards

20 May 2015

When Kanye West closed the Billboard Music Awards on 16 May 2015 ABC censored more than a minute of the rapper’s performance, leaving some viewers to wonder if the sound had cut out. Kanye West was onstage for 5 minutes and 18 seconds, though sound was only available to home …

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USA: Musical about fight for freedom of speech

13 April 2015

In Houston, USA, a new musical about ‘letter censorship’, asking freedom of speech questions, premiered on 7 April 2015. “Audiences should find the show thought-provoking,” said one of the musical actors, Jason Gotay. “It really makes you ask some big questions about what would happen if you lose that freedom …

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USA: Country stations ban song for promoting gay agenda

13 April 2015

The country song ‘Girl Crush’ by Little Big Town has been banned by some American country stations after listeners complained it ‘promotes the gay agenda’. This despite the fact that the song is about wanting back an ex, and just includes lyrics detailing the attractiveness of his new girlfriend. The …

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Canada: Controversy over concert cancellation sparks public debate

13 April 2015

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has decided to cancel performances by the Ukrainian-born pianist Valentina Lisitsa over what it calls her “deeply offensive language” and “inciting hatred” on Twitter because of her comments on the conflict in Ukraine. This has created an intense public debate in the country’s media and social …

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USA raises the question about artistic freedom of expression in UN

17 March 2015

“The United States would like to discuss the rights of freedom of opinion and expression, ‎particularly focusing on artistic expression and creativity,” said the American Ambassador Keith Harper in a statement at the 28th Session of the UN Human Rights Council. He continued: “Artistic expression and creativity as a form …

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Canada: Viet Cong banned from playing because of their name

16 March 2015

The Canadian art rockers Viet Kong have had a show in Ohio cancelled because their name ‘deeply offends’ some people. Gig promoter Ivan Krasnov took to the Oberlin ‘Sco Facebook page to apologise for booking an act whose name “deeply offends and hurts Vietnamese and Vietnamese-American communities, both in Oberlin …

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USA: Symphony censored over its comments on totalitarianism

16 March 2015

In March 2015, 21-year-old composer Jonas Tarm was about to reach a profound career milestone: His original composition was going to be performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall. But at the last minute, the New York Youth Symphony told Tarm that his Carnegie debut – commissioned by the orchestra as …

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Cuba: Rapper sentenced to one year in prison

4 February 2015

On 28 January 2015, the rapper El Dkano (real name: Maikel Castillo Perez) was sentenced to a year in prison in Havana. It is generally believed he was targeted for having used music to express his dissenting political opinions. El Dkano was sentenced under a charge known as ‘peligrosidad predelictiva’ …

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USA: Hip-hop artist prosecuted for rapping about shootings

4 February 2015

The rapper Tiny Doo was charged with “criminal street gang conspiracy” over a music album, ‘No Safety’, reflecting gang culture. Tiny Doo (real name: Brandon Duncan) has no criminal record and says he has no knowledge of the crimes, which involved several shootings in San Diego from May 2013 to …

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Cuba: Rapper ‘El Critico’ released from prison

2 February 2015

After nearly two years in prison, Cuban rapper Ángel Yunier Remón Arzuaga, better known as ‘El Critico’, from the underground hip-hop duo The Unwanted Children, has been released, along with several other political prisoners across the island. Remón was sent to prison in 2013 after a violent, allegedly government-organised, mob …

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USA: Police wrongfully arrests subway musicians

22 November 2014

Contradictions in New York law have caused numerous musicians to be wrongfully arrested. And the problem is only getting worse, according to an article in Rolling Stone magazine. In October 2014, a YouTube video showing the arrest of 30-year-old subway musician Andrew Kalleen for performing in a New York City …

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USA: Ai Weiwei exhibition features music by imprisoned musicians

30 September 2014

A new exhibition by the acclaimed Chinese artist Ai Weiwei opened on 27 September 2014 on Alcatraz near San Fransisco, USA. It features music by Tibetan singer Lolo and Pussy Riot, highlighting threads which connect artists around the planet who face harassment, pressure, persecution, prosecution and even death for expressing …

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US fails to protect the human right to read, says report

29 September 2014

In a submission to the UN Freemuse and NCAC document violations of freedom of information and expression in public schools, jails, and prisons in the USA. In a new report to the United Nations assessing the United States’ compliance with its human rights obligations, Freemuse and USA based NCAC, the …

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US fails to protect the human right to read, says report

26 September 2014

In a new report to the United Nations assessing the United States’ compliance with its human rights obligations, Freemuse and USA-based NCAC, the National Coalition Against Censorship, argue that the U.S. must do more to protect the rights of youth in public primary and secondary schools as well as the rights of inmates in jails, prisons, and detention centers.

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USA: High school marching band’s playlist censored

28 July 2014

A high school marching band in central Pennsylvania can’t perform hit songs by Bruno Mars and Fall Out Boy because of their suggestive lyrics. A Lancaster County school board this week stood behind an administrative decision to remove two Top 40 hits from its high school marching band’s upcoming repertoire …

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Brazil: The music Brazil doesn’t want you to be listening to

4 July 2014

Leading up to the World Cup in Brazil, with sounds of gunfire in the background, forbidden funk rappers continued to talk about what the government wants to hide: extreme violence, social segregation and racism in the favelas. By Debora Baldelli Girls dance at a baile funk party in the Rocinha, the …

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USA: Opera transmission cancelled over antisemitism concerns

19 June 2014

A live transmission of ENO and the Metropolitan Opera’s production of the opera ‘The Death of Klinghoffer’ has been cancelled over concerns about its ‘appropriateness at this time of rising antisemitism’. Freemuse joins the international joint statement: Nat’l and International Organizations Warn That Cancelling ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Screenings Endangers Creative …

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USA: Open letter against censorship of hip-hop artists in Portland

2 April 2014

In an open lettert to Portland’s music community, Casey Jarman, managing editor of The Believer, former music editor of Willamette Weeks and co-founder of Party Damage Records, speaks out against what he calls “a systematic attempt to silence local hip-hop artists.” » Source:  www.wweek.com » See also: Hip-Hop Stopped The tension between …

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Cameroon / USA: Lapiro moves on to the other side

17 March 2014

By Daniel Brown One thing were his words. The other was the man, dubbed “the unceremonial sheriff of the backyards” in his native Cameroon. A ball of intensity who seemed unbent by his three years behind bars and the nigh-constant pressure before and after his release on 24 September 2011. …

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Cuba: Rappers persecuted – beaten, ransacked, arrested

17 February 2014

Excerpt of blog-post by John Suarez at cubanexilequarter.blogspot.com: “The importance of generating and maintaining attention is critically important for anyone who dissents from the official government line. Rodolfo Ramirez, known by his rapping name as El Primario, member of the hip-hop duo El Primario y Julito, who appears in the …

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Cuba: Punk rocker Gorki reportedly again faces years in prison

6 February 2014

On 30 September 2013, Cuban punk rocker Gorki Luis Aguila Carrasco, lead singer of the band Porno para Ricardo, was arrested. On a citation for summary judgement dated 27 January 2014, Gorki has now been called to attend a summary trial on 11 February 2014. Exiled Cuban bloggers and reporters …

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USA: Freemuse Award winner Pete Seeger dies at 94

28 January 2014

A flower has gone “His songs are a catalogue of social activism of the 20th century,” said Freemuse Director Ole Reitov receiving the news of the death of Pete Seeger, who in 2009 received the Freemuse Award. “Pete Seeger’s voice has been one which has constantly been on the side …

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Barbados: ‘The Blurred Lines case’ of the Carribean

20 November 2013

The song “Kick een she back door” by the Antiguan band Burning Flames says a man should rape a woman. But does that mean the song should be banned?, a Trinidad Express columnist asks. Whatever the case, a petition has been circulated internationally which led to the song being dropped …

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USA: MTV series documents power of music and art to ignite change

19 November 2013

Launched on 18 November 2013, the weekly series ‘Rebel Music’ on MTV’s collage-channel in the United States, mtvU, documents youth uprising and the power of music and art to ignite change in conflict areas around the world. “Revolution has a sound. Meet a new generation of fearless youth igniting change …

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USA: Kacey Musgraves’ performance censored during CMA Awards

14 November 2013

Singer Kacey Musgraves’ voice went silent for a couple of seconds during the 2013 CMA Awards on 6 November 2013. The singer was censored three times during her performance of ‘Follow Your Arrow.’ Musgraves’ song includes the lyric “roll up a joint” and the network took the time to censor the word “joint.” …

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Cuba: Jailed rapper in critical condition due to hunger strike

3 November 2013

Activists on social networks convoked a “tweet-protest” on 1 November 2013, in solidarity with Cuban dissident rapper and political prisoner Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga, known best as “El Critico” form the hip-hop duo The Unwanted Children (Los Hijos Que Nadie Quiso). The musician was violently arrested by the political police …

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USA: Christmas carols banned in school district

31 October 2013

The superintendent at Bordentown Regional School District in New Jersey, USA, banned any and all religious music in the December concerts the district’s elementary schools normally hold, reported Charisma News. The superintendent at Bordentown Regional School District made a public statement that “religious music should not be part of the …

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USA: Madonna launches platform to fight oppression and intolerance

26 September 2013

scene in secretprojectrevolution

‘Art For Freedom’, led by the American superstar Madonna, is a new digital initiative, an online ‘public art project’, designed to fuel free speech. ‘Art For Freedom’ encourages the world to express their personal meaning of freedom and revolution in the form of video, music, poetry or photography. ‘Art For …

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Cuba: Pianist banned and forced to cancel shows

18 September 2013

The 41-year-old Cuban pianist and bandleader Robertico Carcassés has been suspended “indefinitely” from performing in Cuba after he improvised lyrics calling for direct presidential elections, free access to information and the end of the embargo during a televised concert on 12 September in the Cuban capital, Havana. Many of Cuba’s most …

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Canada: Rock star blacklisted by radio station

14 September 2013

In Canada, the radio station Rock 97.9 in Fort McMurray will no longer play Canadian rock star Neil Young’s music after he made remarks about the oil-rich Alberta area while talking about the controversial Keystone X-L Pipeline project at a conference in Washington, USA. “The Indians up there and the …

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USA: MTV censored lyrics with reference to drugs

26 August 2013

At the 2013 Video Music Awards, the American music television channel MTV censored Miley Cyrus’s VMA performance and edited out the entire line where she sings “dancing with Molly.” The line in the song ‘We Can’t Stop’ is known to be a reference to the powdered form of the drug …

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Mexico: Drug ballads banned in Chihuahua

15 August 2013

In July 2013 alone, four musical acts have been fined for violating a law prohibiting the performance of songs in the genre – one which often heralds the exploits of drug cartel members. The latest target of such a fine was Alfredo Ríos, better known as ‘El Komander’, who held …

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USA: Folk singer Joan Baez ‘disinvited’ by army officials

12 May 2013

American folk singer Joan Baez, who had performed at numerous anti-Vietnam-War demonstrations, was forbidden to participate in John Mellencamp’s concert at Walter Reed Hospital where he performed for wounded troops on 27 April 2007. Antiwar activist Joan Baez says she was ‘disinvited’ from the event by army officials. John Mellencamp …

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USA

18 March 2013

USA The First Amendment is a cornerstone in US democracy. Read more at Freedom Forum – The First Amendment Center; www.freedomforum.org Key documents: Stories from the medias: Links:

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Mexico: ‘Narcocorridos’ can be sung again in Sinaloa

19 February 2013

    On 14 February 2013, The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) in Mexico found that Sinaloa’s governor, Mario Lopez Valdez, had exceeded his powers when he created a legislation which banned public performances of ‘narcocorridos’, drug ballads. The court reversed the decision of the state government …

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Haiti: President accused of censoring three carnival bands

18 February 2013

    Lead singers behind some of Haiti’s most controversial carnival tunes this year say they are being shut out of the annual three-day pre-Lenten carnival because the President considers their songs too critical of the government.   The Haitian bands claim that Haiti’s charismatic president, Michel Martelly, has personally …

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Mexico: Several musicians brutally killed

1 February 2013

  Several of the musicians from the Mexican group Kombo Kolombia who have been reported missing since 24 January, have been found dead. It is still uncertain how many band members that have been killed. Kombo Kolombia had been playing a gig in a private bar on Thursday 24 January …

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Colombia: Ten rappers murdered for criticizing the system

22 November 2012

Ten rappers have been murdered in the last two years in the Colombian city Medellín. Their “crime”: that they volunteered to help getting young people away from paramilitary groups and drug gangs. 14 rappers have gone underground, and even more fear for their lives, reported the Danish newspaper Arbejderen. An article …

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Cuba: Banned exiled singers allegedly stricken from censorship list

22 August 2012

The BBC reported on 8 August 2012 that several Cuban radio stations confirm they no longer face restrictions on playing music by exiles.   The BBC-reporter Sarah Rainsford wrote that the Cuban state-run radio had declared that previously forbidden Cuban-American musical performers such as Celia Cruz, Gloria Estefan and Willy …

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Jamaica: Arrest of reggae musician sparks censorship debate

12 April 2012

  The arrest of dancehall artist Vybz Kartel, who is charged with murder, has sparked a debate over whether restrictions should be placed on of music with violent content. Vybz Kartel (real name: Adidja Palmer), arguably Jamaica’s most popular dancehall artist, was arrested on 29 September 2011 and charged with …

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Mexico: Musician kidnapped and tortured

10 April 2012

  Julio Cesar Leyva Beltran, a singer with the Mexican band Los Ciclones del Arroyo, was kidnapped and tortured after refusing to perform a song requested by a group of people at a party, police said according to several news media. 41-year-old Julio Cesar Leyva Beltran was abducted from a …

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Mexico: Popular music group banned in Chihuahua

15 March 2012

Authorities in the capital of Mexico’s most violent state, Chihuahua, which lies on the U.S. border, has banned the popular group Los Tigres del Norte from performing in the city after the band sang ballads glorifying drug traffickers during their concerts. “The musical group will not get permits for future …

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Venezulea: Reggae singer Onechot shot in the head

1 March 2012

  On the night of 27 February 2012, on returning to pick up some of his recorded material, the reggae singer Onechot (real name: Juan David Chacón) was attacked by a group of criminals who shot him, wounding him in the head, reported Global Voices. The following day, 28 February, …

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Mexico: Conductor kidnapped by drug cartel

1 March 2012

  In July 2011, a successful Mexican musician residing in Germany was abducted by gunmen while on holiday in northern Mexico. 36-year-old Rodolfo Cazares is a Mexican pianist and symphony conductor, leader of the Bremerhaven city orchestra in Germany. While visiting his parents in northern Mexico, Rodolfo Cazares was sleeping …

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Colombia: Rappers fighting for peace

10 January 2012

  This is the story about young hip-hoppers spreading a message of hope and peace while living within an armed conflict. 27-year old Jeihhco and his friends are using microphones, record players and education to change the everyday life in their neighborhood. Medellín in Colombia is known as one of …

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Austin Dacey, USA: Expanding the boundaries

25 November 2011

  Amplifying music in the face of censorship A presentation by Austin Dacey, followed by a debate which took place at the conference ‘Right! Freedom of Music & Speech’ on 21 November 2011 in Stockholm. Source See more videos from the conference: right11.se/videos     Related reading on freemuse.org Statement …

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Austin Dacey, USA: Expanding the boundaries

25 November 2011

  Amplifying music in the face of censorship A presentation by Austin Dacey, followed by a debate which took place at the conference ‘Right! Freedom of Music & Speech’ on 21 November 2011 in Stockholm.   Source See more videos from the conference: right11.se/videos       Related reading on …

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Jamaica: Arrest of reggae musician sparks censorship debate

12 October 2011

  The arrest of dancehall artist Vybz Kartel, who is charged with murder, has sparked a debate over whether restrictions should be placed on of music with violent content. Vybz Kartel (real name: Adidja Palmer), arguably Jamaica’s most popular dancehall artist, was arrested on 29 September 2011 and charged with …

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Cuba: Singer Pablo Milan

3 October 2011

  Songs of the famous Cuban singer-songwriter Pablo Milanés have been banned on Cubas nationwide network of radio stations from 26 September 2011, reported Café Fuerte. Pablo Milanes has been a symbol of Cuban revolutionary culture for decades, but he now seems to have ended his days of glory in …

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Cuba: Two hip-hop musicians arrested

3 October 2011

Julito and El Primario, two hip-hop musicians who have popularized songs defiantly against the Cuban government and who started a label called Sin Censura Records (Without Censorship Records), were arrested at an anti-government protest. 21-year-old Julito (real name: Julio León Fonseca), and 22-year-old El Primario (real name: Rodolfo Ramírez Hernández) …

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Canada: Ban lifted on Dire Straits’ song ‘Money For Nothing’

2 September 2011

  ‘Money for Nothing’ was pronounced unfit for Canadian ears in January 2011 after a listener’s complaint about the word faggot in the lyrics. The ban on the song has now been lifted and Canadian radio stations can resume playing the song, reported BBC News on 1 September 2011. The …

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USA: College bans national anthem because of too violent lyrics

31 August 2011

  A 1,000-student college in Indiana State has banned ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ at all sporting events because the school’s president considers the US national anthem’s lyrics to be too violent and glorifying war. On 26 August 2011 NBC Sports reported that Tiny Goshen College — a liberal arts school and an …

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Argentina: One of Latin America’s most admired folk singers murdered

12 July 2011

  The 74-year-old Argentine singer and novelist Facundo Cabral was killed when his car came under heavy fire from three carloads of gunmen on 9 July 2011. The murder has prompted expressions of anguish from across Latin America, reported the Associated Press. Speaking at a news conference along with Guatamala’s …

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USA: Jazz musician suspected as terrorist because of his Arabic name

27 June 2011

  An American jazz pianist’s Arabic-sounding name allegedly made over-zealous US officials suspect a link between his payment for a performance in Europe and possible terrorist activities. The pianist Ahmad Jamal is reported by a Swiss newspaper to have been prevented from collecting his fee from the Swiss Jazz Festival …

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USA: Singer discriminated by anti-discrimination group

15 June 2011

  Syrian-American musician Malek Jandali was disinvited from performing at an anti-discrimination convention because of a pro-freedom song he was due to perform. The organisers, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, soon found themselves in a media storm of criticism, and after days of bad press and just hours before the convention started, …

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Cuba: Forbids punk-rock band from touring in Europe

10 June 2011

  Authorities in Cuba forbids three members of Porno Para Ricardo from performing at the United Islands music festival in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, on 25 June 2011 It would have been their first concert performance in Europe. But although the Czech organisers as well as the Cuban …

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UK / USA: ‘Offending’ album title covered with sticker

6 June 2011

The popular British rock band Arctic Monkeys’ new album is entitled ‘Suck It And See’ – a phrase which causes a stir in the United States where major stores will cover the offending album title by a big sticker. When the indie-rock band from a suburb of Sheffield publishes its fourth …

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Mexico: Ban on ‘drug ballads’ in Sinaloa state

23 May 2011

  The congress of Sinaloa, one of Mexico’s 31 states, has banned the performance, interpretation and reproduction of narcocorridos — songs that glorify the drug trade and trafficking — in restaurants, nightclubs and bars This was reported by La Jornada correspondent Javier Valdez Cardenas on 18 May 2011 and by …

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Mexico: ‘Drug ballad’ singer El Sapo killed in Juarez

9 May 2011

The lead singer of a narcocorridos band, 27-year-old El Sapo (real name: Francisco Dominguez Herrera) was executed by gunmen on a parking lot on 6 May 2011. Narcocorridos are ‘drug ballads’ that glorify the drug trade and trafficking. A Juárez official said police responded to a shooting around 8 PM …

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Mexico: Ban on ‘drug ballads’ in Chihuahua state

4 May 2011

  On 3 May 2011 the congress of Chihuahua, one of Mexico’s 31 states, banned the broadcasting of ‘narcocorridos’ genre of music, songs about drug dealings and cartels, in radio and tv The bill was introduced on 12 April 2011 by Congressman Ricardo Alan Boone and was approved on 3 …

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