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Iran: Daniel Pearl: Status of music in Iran 2000

4 September 2007

In this article Daniel Pearl describes the status of music in Iran. He interviews the Iranian pop singer Alireza Assar and composer Fouad Hejazi. The article was written for Wall Street Journal and was published in June 2000. “On the surface, this nation’s hardliners are doing all they can to …

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Pakistan: Taliban group issues new ban on sale of music

23 August 2007

If you sell music CDs and cassettes in Zargari and other areas in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan, you will now be fined 50,000 rupees, reports Daily India on 22 August 2007 By Freemuse A ban on music has been imposed by a local Taliban council in Zargari, …

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Pakistan: Religious extremists destroyed 25 music shops

4 July 2007

In June 2007 alone, there were more than 20 bomb attacks on music shops in north-west Pakistan. On 4 July, five more music shops were set ablaze with petrol for “promoting obscenity and destroying religious values” By Pakistan Press Foundation, PPF, in Karachi The incident on 4 July 2007 happened …

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Iran: Gradual changes through modern technology

4 July 2007

The daily pan-Arabic newspaper Ashark al Awsat reports that changes are introduced gradually among the citizens of Iran – despite official bans and censorship. The article describes how there are two worlds in the country – contradicting each other and yet existing side by side.   Mohammed Hossien Saffar Harandi, …

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Turkey: Ferhat Tunc: “I will continue my struggle”

25 June 2007

Despite death threats and continuous court cases, Kurdish-Turkish singer and writer Ferhat Tunç continues to critise the Turkish court system and the government. In this statement of his, Tunç says: “I am not an artist who sings poppy songs… and I will cry out the reality of this country even louder.” By …

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Turkey: Deceased Kurdish singer Ahmet Kaya still controversial

7 June 2007

Turkish artist Ahmet Kaya (1957–2000) remains controversial seven years after his death. On 4 June 2007 three people in Adapazarı were attacked for wearing a T-shirt with the printing of ‘Ahmet Kaya’   The argument developed into a lynch attempt, reported the Turkish human rights organisation Freedom of Expression Association. …

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Turkey: Kurdish singer on trial for praising rebel leader

29 May 2007

On 22 May 2007 a prosecutor demanded that the Kurdish singer Xemgin Birhat be sentenced to five years in prison for performing a song that praises imprisoned Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan Xemgin Birhat (real name: Zülfü Kızıldemir) was detained in March 2007 after performing his Kurdish-language song ‘Mezin Apo’, …

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Bahrain: Responses to attack on Khalife and Haddad

20 May 2007

A performance at the “Spring of Culture” festival was attacked by fundamentalist members of the Bahraini parliament as being in violation of Islamic morals and Sharia laws. Below are three initial responses to the controversy – from the artists themselves, from a group of Arab intellectuals, and from Freemuse. • The …

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