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China: Malaysian rapper told to make no controversial statements

26 October 2015

The Malaysian rapper Namewee (real name: Wee Meng Chee) has become the latest to join a growing number of artists and brands facing limitations on their performance in China. Namewee posted a statement on Facebook on 19 October 2015 that he had been forced by his Hong Kong concert promoter …

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India: Pakistani singer’s concerts cancelled after protests

16 October 2015

Two concerts by the veteran Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali scheduled in the Indian state of Maharashtra were cancelled by the organizers after a regional Hindu right-wing party took exception to the events. The Shiv Sena, a Hindu nationalist party that is part of the coalition government in Maharashtra State, asked …

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India: Play demanded banned by Catholic church

16 October 2015

The Catholic Church in India has demanded a ban on the play ‘Agnes of God’, an adaptation of American playwright John Pielmeier’s drama about a nun giving birth to a child. The church has alleged the play is a ‘wrongful portrayal’ of priests and nuns committed to a life of …

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Malaysia: Court rules in favour of religious book-banning

16 October 2015

Rather than protecting writers’ and publishers’ constitutional right to freedom of artistic expression, a Federal Court in Malaysia has made a principal decision to favour Islamic laws that protect ‘the sanctity of Islam’. ZI Publications and its director, Mohd Ezra Mohd Zaid, had challenged a Selangor religious enactment that they claim …

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Australia considers barring American rapper’s tour

16 October 2015

Australia appears set to join the list of countries that have refused to allow entry to the controversial American singer and rapper Chris Brown over his domestic violence record. In 2009, Chris Brown pleaded guilty to assaulting his then-girlfriend, the pop star Rihanna. He has toured Australia twice since, but …

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Pakistan: Increased censorship of Pakistani films

14 October 2015

‘Abdullah’ is the latest film flagged by Pakistan’s censor board, which has become more active of late, reported Sheharyar Rizwan for Dawn.com. Until recently, film censorship in Pakistan was mostly limited to Bollywood and Hollywood productions, one reason being there weren’t that many films being produced within Pakistan. But now, …

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Thailand: Movie banned on religious grounds

14 October 2015

The Thai government has banned the release of ‘Arbat’ – a locally-made horror movie that was set to be released in October 2015. The Ministry of Culture said that its Film and Media Screening Committee banned the film because it was disrespectful to monks and novices. The film, directed by Kanittha …

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China: Artist on censorship and finding freedom in the provinces

23 September 2015

Provincial cities like Wuhan might provide more freedom from official intervention, reported Lise Movius in The Art Newspaper on 23 September 2015 in connection with her interview with Zhang Dali – an artist who is known for his controversial graffiti, paintings and sculptures and who is now due to have …

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South Korea: Arts Council accused of political censorship

22 September 2015

Through Arts Council Korea, the Korean government allegedly attempts to censor cultural contents. Artists and their projects have been banned from government financial support for political reasons, reported Korea Herald on 22 September 2015. Yeo Jun-suk wrote for Korea Herald that lawmakers from the main opposition party have upped their …

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