North Korea: Singer who was claimed executed is apparently alive

19 May 2014

In August 2013, the North Korean singer Hyon Song-Wol was reported by South Korea’s largest daily newspaper The Chosun Ilbo to have been executed by firing squad. On 16 May 2014, she appeared on North Korean state television, apparently alive and well, as she delivered a speech at a national …

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Azerbaijan: Foreign music banned in Nakhijevan

15 May 2014

The Nakhijevan TV and Radio Broadcasting Committee has banned broadcasting of all foreign music on Nakhijevan radio channels, the Azerbaijani news portal reported. “The ban includes genres such as rock and rap, regardless if they have been produced within Azerbaijan and are sung in the Azerbaijani language. It includes …

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Azerbaijan: Report about artistic freedom of expression

13 May 2014

A new 33-page report by Art for Democracy details cases of violations of the right to artistic freedom of expression over the past three years in Azerbaijan. According to the report, ‘Creativity Under Pressure: Artistic Freedom of Expression in Azerbaijan’, the Azerbaijani authorities have used a range of tactics to …

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China: Renewed crackdown on writers | PEN International

12 May 2014

Five prominent dissident writers have been arrested for taking part in events to commemorate the upcoming 25th anniversary of the crackdown on the 1989 pro-democracy protests, reported PEN International. On 4 and 5 May 2014, some of the participants at a memorial on 3 May were taken in for questioning …

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Uzbekistan: Singer speaks out on oppression in atmosphere of dissent

6 May 2014

On 1 May 2014, tweeting in both Uzbek and Russian, singer Ozoda Saidzoda appeared to lay the blame for her career setback squarely at the door of the country’s prime minister, Shavkat Mirziyaev Ozoda later elaborated on her tweets in an exclusive interview with RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service, claiming she has …

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Vietnam: The new censors of Hanoi

28 April 2014

In an article in The New York Times journalist Nguyen Qui Duc who also runs the alternative-art space Tadioto in Hanoi reflects on the censorship mechanisms of art in Vietnam during the communist area and today. According to Duc, market-driven concerns may be hampering artists in Vietnam more than censorship …

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India: Pressure from fringe groups raise concern in film sector

14 April 2014

A growing trend of fringe groups holding to ransom censor-certified films and attempting to stall their release has become a cause of concern for filmmakers, producers, and fans. In an article entitled ‘Holding Tamil box office to ransom’, The Hindu reported that insiders in the Indian film industry worry that …

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China: Australian novelist refuses to bow to censorship demands

3 April 2014

Australian thriller writer LA (Louisa) Larkin has refused to bow to censorship demands from Chinese printers, instead withdrawing her work from a Reader’s Digest anthology, reported Sydney Morning Herald. LA Larkin’s book, ‘Thirst’, was being produced in China when the printers downed tools, insisting references to “Falun Gong” and “torture” …

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Malaysia: Indonesian action film banned

2 April 2014

The film ‘The Raid 2: Berandal’ was supposed to have opened in Malaysian cinemas on 28 March 2014 but it was reported that the film was not allowed to be screened in the country. The Indonesian presidential election campaign took a twist when a Democratic Party leader questioned the alleged …

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