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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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Israel: Tensions remain strained between artists and culture ministry

8 September 2016

Members of Israel’s artistic community have filed a lawsuit against the country’s ministry of culture as artists and cultural institutions increasingly feel threatened under culture minister Miri Regev, who has attempted, among other things, to put laws in place that would tie funding to “loyalty to the state”, thus curbing …

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Mauritania: Rapper harassed and attacked by police

8 September 2016

Police stopped Mauritanian rapper Yëro Gaynääko (real name Yéro Abdoulaye Sow) on 16 August 2016 while on the road back to the capital Nouakchott, forcibly removing the rapper out of the car, accusing him of being drugged and taking him to a police station where he was assaulted and verbally …

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China: Ai Weiwei pulled from exhibition under political pressure

7 September 2016

Outspoken Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was dropped from the Yinchuan Biennale exhibition just weeks before it was scheduled to open due to “governmental pressure”, as confirmed by the Biennial Foundation, the New York-based group organising the exhibit, reported The New York Times on 26 August 2016. The artist received what …

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Sierra Leone: Musician allegedly censored due to political song

7 September 2016

Popular musician Emmerson Bockarie claims the government has banned him from playing a concert in Sierra Leone capital Freetown and a radio DJ has said that his station manager told him to not play the artist’s latest hit ‘Munku Boss Pan Matches’ (‘A Kid in a Candy Store’), a 15-minute …

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Thailand: Two imprisoned actors released early

7 September 2016

Two actors, Patiwat Saraiyaem and Pornthip Munkong, serving a two-and-a-half year prison sentence under the controversial ‘lèse majesté’ law – defaming, insulting or threatening the royal family – have been released early in a royal pardon, reported PEN International on 5 September 2016. Saraiyaem was released 55 days early on 12 …

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Egypt: Author’s sentence upheld over “sexually explicit” novel

6 September 2016

On 27 August 2016 a Cairo misdemeanor court rejected author Ahmed Naji’s request to suspend his two-year sentence on charges that he “violated public decency” by publishing “sexually explicit” passages in his novel ‘The Use of Life’, reported Ahram Online on 27 August 2016. The author was sentenced to prison …

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Burundi: Musician received death threats ahead of trip home

6 September 2016

              Burundian musician Kidum Kibido (real name Jean-Pierre Nimbona) said he received death threats via social media in advance of returning home for a performance in capital Bujumbura that took place on 3 September 2016, reported The Rwanda Focus on 16 August 2016. The …

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Israel: Detained Palestinian poet heads to trial over poem

5 September 2016

On 6 September 2016, Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour heads back to trial facing charges that one of her poems posted on YouTube and two Facebook posts constitute “incitement to violence”, a charge that carries a prison term of up to eight years. The charges mainly relate to Tatour’s poem on …

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USA: Artworks featuring guns seized at airport

5 September 2016

Customs officials at Houston, Texas’ Bush airport have held three pieces of art made from decommissioned AK-47 assault rifles by British artist Bran Symondson, who was in the city to hold an art show, reported KPRC Houston on 11 August 2016. The artist’s works take real AK-47s and covers them …

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