These cases exemplify violations of artistic freedom which fall under the category of institutionalised censorship. 


Freemuse’s research shows that some national legislations prescribe mandatory pre-authorisation of artworks before they are made available for public view. These regulations require that artists submit their artworks to regulatory bodies for the content approval. The approval process sometimes requires artists to pay a fee in order to get a permit to disseminate their artistic work. In different contexts, different censorship and classification bodies are tasked to review mainly video and music materials. Failure to obtain such permit is often followed by a fine. 


Freemuse also monitored cases in which artists were detained for publishing an artwork without authorisation. In some instances, the national law requires a membership in an officially recognised artists’ professional association as a precondition for the regulatory body to take an art piece into consideration for the approval. In several countries in the MENA region, the professional unions also have mandate to provide annual licences for artists’ public performances. These procedures are often difficult to fulfil for those artists who are in any way perceived as dissenting the authorities, violating principles of ‘public morality’ through their public appearances or producing art which is deemed to be contrary to ‘traditional values' rooted in one society.