Iran: Filmmaker sentenced to six-year prison term and 223 lashes

4 November 2015

On 13 October 2015, after nearly two years of hearings, the 30-year-old Iranian filmmaker Keywan Karimi was sentenced to six years in prison and 223 lashes. He was arrested on 14 December 2013 on charges of “insulting the sacred,” “propaganda against the regime,” and “illicit relations.” According to Karimi’s lawyer, Amir …

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Israel: The political legacy of muzzling artists

3 November 2015

In June 2015, Israeli artists made a collective roar against their government over its arts funding policy which bans dissident artists. Like everywhere else in the world, the government of Israel can choose which artists to support with public funding. It can ban, expel and censor artists, according to its …

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Turkey: Tensions between film festivals and government take toll

28 October 2015

The film festival circuit in Turkey has been among the most visible casualties as the increasingly authoritarian Justice and Development Party (AK-Party) fights to stay in power, reported the film magazine Variety. Simmering tensions between artists and the government came to a head at the Antalya film festival in October …

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UAE: Heavy metal concert cancelled

27 October 2015

The Belgian Death Metal band Aborted have been forced to cancel their upcoming concert in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The band’s concert was going to take place on 30 November 2015 at The Music Room, but due to complaints about the band’s lyrics, themes and videos, the government allegedly ordered …

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Morocco: Rapper prosecuted over song deemed insulting

22 October 2015

The Moroccan rapper Al Muntaqim was arrested in August 2015 and accused of inciting violence and drug abuse through his song ‘Korsika’. He has since been released, but his court case is still pending. In August 2015, the Public Prosecution at the Court of First Instance in Khenifra city in …

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Qatar: UN experts call for release of Qatari poet Mohammed al-Ajami

22 October 2015

United Nations human rights experts called for the release of the Qatari poet Mohammed al-Ajami on the second anniversary of his prison sentencing, 20 October 2015. Al-Ajami is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence in Doha for the contents of his poetry. David Kaye, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom …

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Tunisia: Rapper Klay BBJ released from custody

21 October 2015

The Tunisian rapper Klay BBJ was released from custody on 21 October 2015 after having been detained over the weekend on suspicion of “possession and use” of cannabis, his lawyer was quoted as saying by various media. Freemuse welcomes the news which was confirmed by Freemuse’s partner in Tunisia, CIHRS. …

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Tunisia: Calls for the release of arrested rapper Klay BBJ

19 October 2015

On 17 October 2015, the public prosecution of the Court of First Instance in Tunis permitted National Security officers in Bab Swika district to arrest the rapper Klay BBJ (real name: Ahmed Ben Ahmed) along with two other men. They were allegedly apprehended for possession of drugs. The news agency …

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18 October 2015

L’affaire des quatorze satanistes Pendant la conférence au Beirut Freemuse a interviewé Rèda Zine. Dans ce clip vidéo il nous parle de l’affaire des quatorze satanistes, un procès qui a eu lieu au Maroc en févirer 2003. Pendant cette affaire des musiciens rock et métal ont été accusés de satanisme, …

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Turkey: Election board bans AK Party campaign song

16 October 2015

In September 2015, the Supreme Election Board (YSK) imposed a ban on broadcasting the AK Party’s campaign song for the 1 November election on the grounds of “abusing religious symbols in the name of politics”. According to Today’s Zaman and other Turkish media, the ban was issued after the Republican …

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