Turkmenistan: Popular singers sentenced to two years in prison

2 March 2011

Two popular Turkmen singers and rock musicians have been sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, reported Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights. The following is a newsletter from the Austrian-based human rights organisation: According to the family members, the case of a young singer Maksat Kakabayev (also spelled: Kakabaev – artist name: Maro), who was illegally …

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Pakistan: CD markets bombed – once again

24 February 2011

The bombings of CD markets in Chato Chowk Mardan and Umarzai Charsadda in beginning of February 2011 suggests that militants are once again threatening the entertainment industry in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province as well as elsewhere in Pakistan, reported Central Asia Online. A 2007-2008 wave of CD and music shop bombings …

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Uzbekistan: Rock and rap music denounced as ‘evil’

23 February 2011

Uzbekistan’s state television issued an unequivocal denunciation of rock and rap music as a Western liberal excess, saying the music was epitomized by sadism, drug addiction and immorality, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP) on 21 February 2011. AFP reported that a tv documentary made in the style of a Soviet propaganda …

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Myanmar/Burma: New Win Maw songs smuggled out of Burma

16 February 2011

The singer and human rights activist Win Maw has been imprisoned in Burma since 2008. Nevertheless, he continues his struggle for freedom of expression from the prison. In February 2011, Freemuse received three new songs from him. Win Maw doesn’t give up that easily. On 5 March 2009 he was …

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China: Tibetan singer Tashi Dhondup released from prison

11 February 2011

The Tibetan singer Tashi Dhondup has been released from prison, reported Radio Free Asia on 8 February 2011 Radio Free Asia’s report quotes a relative of Tashi Dhondup who is living in Tibet as saying: “He arrived safely at his hometown in Yulgan [in Chinese: Henan] county on the same …

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Burma / Myanmar: Generation Wave

11 February 2011

Generation Wave speak about freedom of expression in Burma   Freemuse interview with four members of Generation Wave — a group which is part of an underground political network both inside and outside Burma. 21 members of the group are presently held as political prisoners in Burma.   Generation Wave …

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South Korea: Music and oppression in Korea in the 1970s

7 February 2011

“In the history of Korean music, the 1970s was the darkest era. So many songs were banned, and so many musicians had to give up music,” writes Kim Seon-joo in a column in The Hankyoreh where he describes the era in the background of the banned songs. By Kim Seon-joo, …

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Honduras: Musicians persecuted with death threats and concert closure

10 December 2010

A midday concert of the band Caf   Video on YouTube: ‘Honduran Regime Targets Musicians’ The band Cafe Guancasco, a favorite of the Honduran coup resistance movement, sees concert attacked by police and military. Real News speaks with two of the musicians attacked while performing. Produced by Jesse Freeston Pavel …

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Pakistan: Singer kidnapped by religious militants

8 December 2010

On 26 November 2010, unidentified militants kidnapped Musharraf Bengash, a Pashtun singer from the Mir Ali area in North Waziristan. Later, a jirga negotiated his release, reported Shaheen Buneri from Radio Mashaal. Musharraf Bengash sings mainly of rural themes, with his music embodying a nationalistic zeal. Shaheen Buneri writes: “The …

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