Freemuse joins presentation on artistic freedom at EU Parliament

28 September 2013

Members of the European Parliament will join a lunchtime presentation of the UN Report ‘The Right to Freedom of Artistic Expression and Creativity’ at the European Parliament in Brussels on 2 October 2013.


The report will be presented by its author, Mme Farida Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights, who was assisted in her work by Freemuse Interim Director Ole Reitov.The session will include a panel of artists consisting of three artists living in exile, writer Chenjerai Hove, Zimbabwe, filmmaker Vahid Evazzadeh, Iran and rapper Khaled Harara, Palestine. Ole Reitov will moderate the panel.

Remind the EU
The purpose of the session is to remind the EU of the importance of artistic freedom. The organisers, the Working Group on Arts, Human Rights and Social Justice (ARJ), write in the invitation to the event:“Artists are an ‘early and easy target’ for governments seeking to increase repression. Closer to home, we see increasing numbers of cases in members and candidates of the EU. From censorship to beatings, imprisonment and death we have documented stories of the silencing of artists who wish to highlight injustice through song, writing or image.”

The ARJ has formulated a number of “demands”. These include a call on the European Parliament to “officially support the UN Report, to include it as a reference in future parliamentary reports and documents, as a guideline in negotiations with EU Member States, Candidates, Neighbours and Third Countries.”

The European Commission is called to “ensure that sufficient emergency funds and mechanisms exist for artists and culture workers at risk due to their artistic practices serving in defense of human rights,” and the EU member states should “include artistic freedom in their reporting in the Universal Periodic Review system, and any similar reporting such as that to the UN Committee on Economic Cultural and Social Rights.”

Click here to open the report (PDF)
Open or download the UN report in English language (Right-click to download)

UN logo

Freemuse raised the issue of incorporatring submissions on artistic freedom in UN reports in June 2013 at the UN Geneva Headquarters:

Freemuse speaks at Human Rights Council
On 3 June 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland, Freemuse made its first oral statement in the Human Rights Council of the United Nations.

Open / download the ARJ “demands”:
‘Proposals to the European Parliament, the European Commission, EU Member States, Civil Society groups and private foundations’ (Microsoft Word document, 6 pages)

Read more about the UN Report ‘The Right to Freedom of Artistic Expression and Creativity’:
UN report on the right to artistic expression and creation

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