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Iran

8 February 2017

ART UNDER THREAT IN 2016: IRAN SERIOUS VIOLATIONS: 30 ACTS OF CENSORSHIP: 9 Iran continues to intimidate, persecute, imprison and ban artists, cultural producers and publishers, bringing it up from the second country with the most serious violations in 2015 to first in 2016. In 2016, Freemuse registered 30 serious …

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Turkey: Detained artist released, awaiting trial

11 January 2017

Turkish artist, activist and journalist Zehra Doğan was released from Turkey’s Mardin Women’s Prison on 9 December 2016 after having been arrested and detained on 21 July 2016 on charges of being a “member of an illegal organisation”. Though free, Doğan will face trial in Febraury 2017, reported IFEX on …

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Israel: Police temporarily shut down Palestinian theatre

10 January 2017

Israeli forces posted a notice outside the el-Hakawati Theatre (also known as the Palestinian National Theatre) in Jerusalem stating the theatre would be closed from six o’clock in the evening until midnight on 8 December 2016 to prevent the performance of a musical they claim is linked to the Popular …

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Iran: Writer temporarily released on bail

10 January 2017

Revolutionary Guards re-arrested Iranian writer Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee while on her way to visit her hospitalised husband.

Iranian writer and human rights activist Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee was temporarily released from prison on bail on 3 January 2017, reported Amnesty International. She had been in prison since 24 October 2016 to serve a six-year sentence for writing an unpublished story about the practice of stoning as punishment in …

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Iran: Two artists arrested, released on bail

9 January 2017

Security forces arrested poet and actor Raouf Delfi and actor Sayed Hasan Mousavi (also known as Sayed Blood) in Abadan, in western Iran, on 13 December 2016. At the time of arrest the location of their detention was unknown, as well as their charges, reported PEN International on 22 December …

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Turkey: Two sculptures removed after protests

5 January 2017

City officials removed a sculpture from outside the A Plus shopping mall in the western part of Istanbul just two days after it went up after a “big crowd” protested the work, reported Artnet on 29 December 2016. Ahmet Güneştekin’s word sculpture featuring the old name for Istanbul – Konstantiniyye …

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Turkey: Novelist released on probation after 132 days of detention

4 January 2017

Novelist Aslı Erdoğan was released from prison on 29 December 2016 after 132 days of being held in pre-trial detention on charges of terror propaganda due to her affiliation, as an advisory board member, to newspaper Özgür Gündem, reported The Guardian on 30 December 2016. The writer was released on …

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Israel: Art featuring ministers stirs controversy

4 January 2017

Two recent displays of art featuring Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu have caused renewed uproar over art and freedom of expression in the major cities of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Controversy erupted at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem after a provocative poster featuring Netanyahu with a …

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UAE: Film festival cancels screening of Egyptian animated short

21 December 2016

‘The Unknown Sweet Potato Seller’, a short animated movie by Egyptian filmmaker Ahmed Roshdy, was cancelled on 11 December 2016, just 24 hours before its screening as part of the “Muhr Short“ competition at the 13th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), reported Mada Masr on 13 December 2016. DIFF posted …

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Egypt: Writer’s prison sentence suspended pending final verdict

19 December 2016

Egypt’s highest court suspended the two-year prison sentence against writer Ahmed Naji who was imprisoned for “violating public decency” by publishing “sexually explicit” writings featured in his novel that also appeared as excerpts in a literary magazine, reported Reuters on 18 December 2016. The court temporarily suspended the writer’s sentence …

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