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Iran/Lebanon: 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 Israel and Lebanon as well as between Israel and Iran. Singer banned in Iran after performance in Israel The Iranian-born British Muslim singer …

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Morocco: Continued harrasment and banning of performances

3 August 2015

In Morocco, performances of the theatre piece ‘B7al B7al’ have repeatedly been interrupted and banned: On 13 June 2015 in Rabat, on 4 and 5 July in Tangiers, and then on 1 August in Fez. ‘B7al B7al’ is a creation of the Theatre of the Oppressed company from Casablanca – …

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Morocco: Rapper El Haqed – besieged, alienated and oppressed

3 August 2015

Freemuse interview with the Moroccan rapper El Haqed, who was awarded with the 2015 Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Award for Arts. By Shaima Aly Mouad Belghouat (also spelled: Belrhouate) is better known under his artist name, El Haqed – the now world-famous Moroccan rapper and human rights activist …

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Saudi Arabia: Comedian receives death threats over tv satire

27 July 2015

The news that Saudi actor Nasser Al Qasabi (also spelled: Naser Al Gasabi) had received death threats after he made fun of the Islamic State fighters, ISIS, in one episode of his comedy series titled ‘Selfie’ went around the planet in June 2015. “Saudi comedian Nasser Al Qasabi has implemented …

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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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Tunisia: No investigation into attack on rapper

6 July 2015

How freedom of expression is oppressed through financial, moral and psychological pressure and damages is Tunisian rapper Hamadi Dia’s story. Today, Freemuse publishes his account of what he is going through because of the music and lyrics he produces. By Shaima Aly, Freemuse “Those groups succeeded in their mission to …

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Egypt, Lebanon: Trance music boycotted for Israeli collaborations

3 July 2015

German trance music producer and DJ Paul Van Dyk has had his new album ‘The Politics of Dancing 3’ banned in Egypt, Lebanon and several other countries in the Middle East, allegedly because it was produced in collaboration with Israeli producers. Paul Van Dyk, one of the world’s most famous …

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Saudi Arabia: Concert with mixed gender audience cancelled

30 June 2015

A concert scheduled for 6 May 2015 at the major Jeddah Amasy concert hall was cancelled by authorities, according to the daily Saudi newspaper Ajel. Apparently the concert audience was planned to be of ‘mixed gender’, which incited an opposition campaign against the concert on social media. The event was …

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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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Egypt: One year imprisonment for music video

26 June 2015

The Agouza Misdemeanour Court sentenced Sunday the dancer Salma Al-Foly, the director Wael El-Sedik and an assistant to one year in prison for a low-cost production homemade video which they posted on El-Sedik’s private YouTube channel on 18 May 2015. The video has since been viewed over 1.5 million times. …

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