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Spain: Row over canceling of Jewish US musician’s festival performance

25 August 2015

The Jewish-American reggae singer Matisyahu was initially cancelled by the organisers from performing at the Rototom Sunsplash music festival in Benicássim in Spain on 22 August 2015 after he refused to make a statement outlining his position on Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians. Due to the growing controversy over the …

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United Kingdom: Theatre play addressing radicalisation cancelled

6 August 2015

A play about Islamist radicalisation in British schools was canceled in August 2015 just two weeks before opening night, prompting speculation the actors, writers and developers had been censored. The play, ‘Homegrown’, was due to be performed by the National Youth Theatre at the UCL Academy in North London. It …

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Iran/Lebanon/Ukraine: Artists affected by conflicts

4 August 2015

When conflicts unfold between and within countries, artists’ rights to artistic freedom of expression are often violated. Recently, artists have been affected by the ongoing conflicts between Russia and Ukraine, and between Israel and Lebanon as well as Iran. Singer banned in Iran after performance in Israel The Iranian-born British …

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Russia: Musicians protest against illegal police detentions

10 July 2015

“Police is attacking artists, taking them to police stations, confiscating their instruments, giving them court summons, and the courts then appoint huge fines based on various articles, depending on their imagination,” wrote Oleg Mokryakov, a leader of one of the music collectives playing on Arbat street, on his Facebook page. …

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Turkey: The disconnect between what is said and what is done

9 July 2015

Copenhagen, 9 July 2015 | Out of 278 recommendations for improvements in human rights put forward, the Turkish government accepted 215 as Turkey’s second Universal Periodic Review by the United Nations Human Rights Council came to a close on 26 June. Turkey rejected key recommendations to amend or abolish laws …

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Turkey: Court reverses Governor’s ban on concert in Istanbul

30 June 2015

The famous Turkish folk music band Grup Yorum celebrated its 30th anniversary with a concert in Istanbul on 28 June 2015, even though the first two attempts to organise this concert earlier in the year were banned by the Istanbul Governor’s Office. The ban was eventually reversed by a court …

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Turkey: Artists under pressure – a year of trials and penalties

8 June 2015

Nudem Durak

Yesterday, Turkey’s voters headed towards the ballot boxes to place their votes in the 7 June general elections. As the election day approached, threats to the media, both veiled and overt, were in the air. This was not entirely unexpected, given that Turkey’s poor record of protection of the right to …

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Russia: Pussy Riot appeals to European court

27 May 2015

According to Moscow Times on 25 May 2015, two members of the female protest group Pussy Riot have appealed to the European Court of Human Rights after Russian police failed to prosecute a group of men who attacked them with a whip and pepper spray in front of witnesses in …

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France: 100 censored songs

20 May 2015

Censorship of one form or the other has been a feature of the French music scene. Surprisingly, no books in French have ever been published on this question. Until, that is, a young French radio producer and a historian and law specialist joined forces to bring out the book ‘100 …

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