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Malaysia: Two artworks removed from national arts gallery

21 February 2014

“The removal of the artwork of two young artists from the National Visual Arts Gallery [in Kuala Lumpur] has raised questions over censorship and the freedom of artistic expression and, ultimately, who decides to what we should watch, read and listen,” wrote The Malaysian Insider on 21 February 2014, saying …

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India: Publishers under pressure to withdraw contentious books

20 February 2014

“Freedom of speech shrinks in the world’s largest democracy,” reported AFP from New Delhi. “At least one crucial pillar of its democratic edifice – the right to free expression – is being rapidly eroded, with ominous implications.” Amy Kazmin Penguin India, an arm of one of the world’s biggest publishers, …

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India: Tamil poets explains how music is permitted in Islam

17 February 2014

“Islam is not against music,” said Tamil poet Abdul Rahman on 14 February 2014, and that statement was quickly quoted and republished on dozens of Indian news-sites and blogs. Abdul Rahman is the director of the Islamic Literary Organisation, Islamiya Ilakkiya Kazhagam – a pioneer literary organisation in the Indian state …

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India: Publisher agrees to destroy book about hindu religion

17 February 2014

Penguin Books India has said that it will destroy all available copies of the 2009-book ‘The Hindus: An Alternative History’ as part of an out of court settlement, reported The Guardian The book ‘The Hindus: An Alternative History’ written by Indologist Wendy Doniger takes a so-called “unorthodox view” of Hinduism. …

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Artist Alert: December 2013 and January 2014 | Article 19

14 February 2014

Newsletter from Article 19, published on article19.org on 12 February 2014: Art, in any form, constitutes a key medium through which information and ideas are imparted and received. Artist Alert, launched by ARTICLE 19 in 2008, highlights cases of artists around the world whose right to freedom of expression has …

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India: Signs of growing weather in film censorship

4 February 2014

Anand Patwardhan

A filmmaker who has been constantly censored is now being awarded by the government. And the Central Board of Film Certification has indicated it wants to move away from the concept of censorship to that of certification. Two pieces of news from the Indian film scene which indicate a positive …

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Tajikistan: Book manuscript confiscated

30 January 2014

Tajikistan appears to be cracking down on the freedoms of speech and thought, and intellectuals find little room for reasoned discourse, reported eurasianet.org on 28 January 2014. In July 2013, authorities in Tajikistan confiscated the only manuscript of a little-known novelist’s latest book. The author, Pulod Abuev, 69, later appealed to representatives …

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China: Authorities tightens regulations for books and online films

23 January 2014

Chinese authorities are requiring makers of online films to gain licenses and report their content before it is posted, tightening regulation of what in recent years has been a more freewheeling genre than China’s traditional film industry. China’s online video sites have provided an accessible platform for filmmakers of all …

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