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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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Middle East: Dossier on music, bans and censorship

16 May 2007

The Internet portal Qantara.de has produced a dossier entitled ‘Middle Eastern Musical Worlds – Between East and West’. It includes issues of music bans and censorship in the region The dossier contains portraits of young Turkish and Arab pop stars and traditional musicians in Europe, and reports on current initiatives …

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Afghanistan: Music download shop attacked, two killed

9 May 2007

Two people were killed and several wounded by a bomb that exploded in a music download shop in Afghanistan’s southeastern town of Khost on 22 April 2007 A bomb blast in a mobile telephone shop where residents regularly download music into their mobile phones, two men were killed and seven …

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Pakistan: Intensified campaign against music

8 May 2007

Attacks on music shops. Music players in cars destoyed. Ban on the sale of CDs and cassettes. Religious militants’ violent attacks on property belonging to people who sell, play or listen to music are intensified in north-western Pakistan, reports the news agencies Within one week 20 music shops are reported …

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Turkey: Two musicians sentenced to 10 months in prison

1 May 2007

Another legal action against singer Pınar Aydınlar   The following was published by Antenna-TR in its Freedom of Expression Weekly Bulletin Issue 19/2012 on 11 May 2012: A lawsuit was filed against folk singer Pınar Aydınlar (also known as Pinar Sağ) and the Group Munzur members Özlem Gerçek and Erkan …

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Iran: ‘Half Moon’ – film about women’s right to sing

25 April 2007

‘Half Moon’ is a feature film which talks of women’s right to perform in public, and to participate in the artistic development of a land   They jump into an orange mini bus and begin the search for a female singer who will join their company – which is not …

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Iran: Six musicians arrested

24 April 2007

 Authorities in Iran have reportedly detained at least six members of underground music bands during the past week and shut down their studios, Radio Farda reported. According to the radio station, at least two detainees who were taken into custody on 19 April 2007 have been freed on bail after …

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Pakistan: Music business faces serious threats in North West Pakistan

23 April 2007

1,200 owners of music centres have been warned by Islamic hardliners of “serious consequences” if they fail to close down their “immoral business”. On 21 April 2007, three more owners of video and music shops experienced the seriousness of these threats when their shops in Swabi were blown up by …

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Pakistan: Religious extremists request radio to stop its music programmes

18 April 2007

The radio station Dera Radio was asked by unknown callers to stop it’s music programmes for religous reasons According to the Pakistani newspaper Daily Express the unknown callers gave threatening warnings to the radio station in Dera Ismail Khan in North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan. In intimidation calls, the radio station …

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