Egypt and Tunisia: The artistic revolution in the Middle East

28 February 2011

“This was a very artistic revolution,” Noor Ayman Nour, son of a famous dissident Egyptian politician and founder of the Egyptian metal band Bliss, told Andy Morgan — a writer, journalist, researcher and event programmer with a background in the music industry who has written an interesting article about the …

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Pakistan: CD markets bombed – once again

24 February 2011

The bombings of CD markets in Chato Chowk Mardan and Umarzai Charsadda in beginning of February 2011 suggests that militants are once again threatening the entertainment industry in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province as well as elsewhere in Pakistan, reported Central Asia Online. A 2007-2008 wave of CD and music shop bombings …

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Syria: Campaign for singer who has been arrested by security agents

23 February 2011

Members of the Syrian security authorities have arrested the Kurdish singer Bavê Selah in his appartment in Aleppo on 24 January 2011, reported Kurdwatch. Amnesty International has started a campaign for his release. The reason for the arrest and Bavê Selah’s current whereabouts remain unknown. He was deported to an …

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Libya: Imprisoned Berber musician on hunger strike

4 February 2011

Abdullah Ashini, a popular Amazigh singer in Libya, is reported to have started an indifinite hunger strike in his prison cell. In December 2010, he was convicted and given a five-year prison sentence on charges for ‘illegal migration’. The popular Berber singer from the village of Zuara has since the …

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Turkey: Song lyrics prompt legal action against university students

2 February 2011

A trial against 16 members of the Beyoglu Troupe of Actors filed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan started on 21 January 2011, and was postponed to 25 March 2011. The university students are charged with “insult” in connection with the lyrics of a song entitled “The Tayyip Blues”. The …

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Turkey: Ferhat Tunc receives 25 days prison sentence

27 January 2011

Freemuse Award winner, Ferhat Tunç, has been sentenced to 25 days in prison for a speech he made during a concert in 2006. Tunç was earlier tried and later on acquitted in the same case of charges of “spreading propaganda for the [illegal] Maoist Communist Party” (MKP) on the grounds …

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Tunisia: Released rapper free to perform

26 January 2011

Hamada Ben-Amor, the artist who gave voice to the anger that spilled into protests that toppled Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, is now courted by music houses and making videos in plain sight. Hamada Ben-Amor, who shot to Internet fame with his rap song “President”, a dig at President Ben …

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Tunisia: Rapper allegedly arrested and released

10 January 2011

Freemuse has sent a letter to the Tunisian Ministry of Culture requesting information about the reported arrest of the Tunisian rapper Hamada Ben-Amor, also known as El General. According to several news media the 21-year-old rapper was arrested on Thursday 6 January 2011 in Sfax for releasing a song critical …

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Turkey: Supreme Court re-opens case against Ferhat Tunc

4 January 2011

Going to court is becoming a repeatative nightmare for singer Ferhat Tunç Just before New Year 2011, the Kurdish singer found himself, once again, squeezed by the Turkish court system when The Court of Appeals 9th Chamber quashed the Malatya High Criminal Court’s verdict for the acquittal of the charges …

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