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Japan: Artist fined for breaking the country’s obscenity law

10 May 2016

On 9 May 2016, a Tokyo district court found the Japanese artist Rokudenashiko (real name: Megumi Igarashi) guilty of breaking the country’s obscenity laws because she produced a kayak modelled on her vagina, reported The Guardian and BBC. She was fined 400,000 yen (US$3,700). In court appearances, Igarashi insisted her …

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China: British heavy metal band forced to alter show

4 May 2016

Iron Maiden have become the latest band to change their live performance in order to satisfy the Chinese government. The metal veterans played two shows in China – in Beijing and Shanghai – in the last week of April 2016. The band had to change lyrics and drop special effects …

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Azerbaijan: Prosecuted writer faces further charges

3 May 2016

The case against Azerbaijani writer Akram Aylisli, who previously faced charges of ‘hooliganism’ after being detained at Baku Haydar Aliyev International Airport on 30 March 2016, has expanded to include charges of ‘resisting the authorities with violence’. Under Article 315.1 of the criminal code, this is punishable by up to …

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Pakistan: Action movie banned by Ministry of Information

3 May 2016

The action movie ‘Maalik’ has been banned in Pakistan after already having been playing in cinemas for weeks. In social media, the ban has led to a classic ‘freedom of expression’ versus ‘state control’ debate, reported The Express Tribune on 28 April 2016. The chairman of the Central Board of …

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China: American pop star tour dates cancelled

27 April 2016

Chinese authorities have allegedly banned US pop star Selena Gomez from performing two dates in the country on her Revival Tour due to photos of her with the Dalai Lama posted on her social media profiles in 2014, reported The New Zealand Herald on 20 April 2016. The singer was …

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Uzbekistan: The naked truth about state censorship

20 April 2016

The Uzbekistan government tightens its control over the arts, prohibiting anything that is believed to threaten national values – including 700 films which have been banned, and musicians who have their performing licenses withdrawn. Censorship was a key instrument for controlling the masses during Soviet times. These days Uzbekistan’s ageing …

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India: Censor board bans own member’s movie

19 April 2016

The examining committee of India’s Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) denied certification to controversial film ‘Mohalla Assi’ directed by Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi, himself a member of the CBFC, after it “evoked extreme reactions” from some members, reported Mumbai Mirror on 8 April 2016. The film, based on a well-known …

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Indonesia: West Aceh bans outdoor concerts

11 April 2016

The regency of West Aceh has banned all outdoor concerts based on a recommendation from a group of Muslim scholars trained in Shari’a law, reported The Sydney Morning Herald on 7 April 2016. Ulema, the body of scholars, believed that outdoor concerts had “more disadvantages than advantages”, leading West Aceh …

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Pakistan: Punjabi film banned

5 April 2016

Pakistan’s Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has banned Indian Punjabi film ‘Ambarsariya’ for “strong references” to the country’s research and analysis wing of its intelligence agency, reported The Express Tribune on 1 April 2016. The film’s distributors appeal to have the full board review the film again was granted, …

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Azerbaijan: Writer detained at airport

31 March 2016

Police detained writer Akram Aylisli for 11 hours at Baku’s Heydar Aliyev Airport, preventing him from traveling to a literary festival in Venice, Italy at which he was scheduled to appear, reported Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty on 30 March 2016. Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Interior reported that Aylisli was …

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