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Tunisia: Rappers and comedians fear for freedom of expression

1 January 2015

Tunisian rappers, comedians and journalists are bracing themselves to defend the freedoms won since the dictatorship was ousted in 2011, reported Agence France-Presse, AFP. Rappers, a particular bane of the old regime, are leading the way in warning against what they fear could be the effective return to power of …

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Iran: Rapper arrested in Mashhad

17 December 2014

Underground rap singer Hossein Eblis was arrested in Mashhad on 15 December 2014. Security forces confiscated several of his musical instruments and sound equipment, reported IranWire, quoting Khorasan Newspaper. According to a police report, Hossein Eblis, 27, frequently mocked the language of authorities in his songs, many of which contain …

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Iran: 20-year-old musician’s reality check: oppression persists

15 December 2014

“Rights for musicians are extremely weak in Iran”, wrote Tooka Zokaie, a 20-year-old Iranian-American piano teacher and speech coach who travelled to Iran and unintentionally broke the law: “When I went to Iran this summer, almost everything I participated in related to music was illegal. I played piano to male …

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Turkey: Tv-drama and theatre directors arrested in crackdown

15 December 2014

“Scores of media figures” were detained in a police raid on 14 December 2014, reported Hurriyet Daily News. Tv-drama producer Salih Asan, director Engin Koç and scriptwriter Makbule Çam Alemdağ were among the detained. Salih Asan was the producer of a controversial tv-drama called ‘Şefkat Tepe’ (literally translated as ‘Affection …

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Afghanistan: Theatre performance attacked by suicide bomber

13 December 2014

On 11 December 2014 a 17-year-old suicide bomber blew himself up inside a school auditorium in Kabul where a theatre play condemning suicide bombing, ‘Heartbeat: Silence After the Explosion’, was being presented by students of Kabul University’s Cinema and Theatre Department of Fine Art Faculty Several persons were killed by …

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Turkey: Many artists bow to censorship orders, says theatre director

2 December 2014

According to the veteran Turkish stage actor and director Genco Erkal many artists in Turkey are bowing to censorship orders from municipal or state officials “because they want to be able to draw on opportunities offered by municipalities.” “Many fellow [actors] comply with terms imposed by municipalities just so they …

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Lebanon: Bans film on Iran protest movement

18 November 2014

Lebanese authorities stop the screening of ‘The Silent Majority Speaks’, which depicts the 2009 post-election Green Movement protests in Iran, organisers of a local film festival said on 16 November 2014. Lebanon’s Censorship Committee is part of the General Security agency and monitors all films before screening in the country. …

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Egypt: Dialogue stopped by restrictions, censorship and arrests

17 November 2014

“Democracy is about dialogue. It is not about shutting down ideas or artistic expressions which may be in opposition to the majority or the ruling system. Due to restrictions and censorship, this dialogue is not possible in Egypt now,” writes Egyptian singer and activist Ramy Essam in this opinion-piece which …

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