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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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Morocco: Director and actress summoned to court

24 June 2015

French-Moroccan director of the new film ‘Much Loved’ (‘Zine Li Fik’), Nabil Ayouch, and Moroccan leading actress Loubna Abidar have been summoned to court in their native country for a hearing on 15 July 2015, Moroccan World News reported. Loubna Abidar plays a prostitute in the film, which follows the daily lives of …

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Israel: Artists up in arms over remarks by Culture Minister

22 June 2015

Israel’s new Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev sparked a furore when she threatened to defund a children theatre managed by an Arab Israeli if he refused to perform in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Israeli artists and leading cultural figures gathered Sunday 14 June 2015 to try and consolidate an …

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Morocco: Police blocks concert with rapper El Haqed

22 June 2015

On 19 June 2015, a concert with the Morrocan rapper El Haqed was called off with 48 hours notice by the police in Casablanca. Right before the beginning of the show, Police allegedly blocked streets leading to the venue and asked the local power provider to cut electricity. The concert …

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Iran: Cartoonist convicted several years in prison for her art

16 June 2015

Iranian designer and cartoonist Atena Farghadani could face years in prison for having drawn an image depicting members of the Iranian parliament as monkeys and cows. On 19 May 2015, she was convicted to 12 years imprisonment (some sources say 14 years). She has appealed the verdict. Cartoonists around the …

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Morocco: Rapper found dead

16 June 2015

The Moroccan rapper Rifinox (real name: Husain Belkich) was found dead on 22 March 2015 after having been missing for over two weeks. He was reported missing by his family on 2 March 2015, when he did not return from going shopping in the neighbourhood. His decomposed body was found …

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Iran: Call for the release of imprisoned writer and film producer

15 June 2015

Writer and film producer Mostafa Azizi was arrested on 1 February 2015 and convicted of national security-related offences by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran and sentenced to eight years in prison. PEN International is calling for his immediate and unconditional release. 52-year-old Iranian writer and film producer …

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