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Tunisia: Three artists imprisoned

18 December 2015

Three Tunisian artists have been imprisoned for cannabis use, after being wrongly accused of terrorist activity. The law related to possession of narcotics is widely used in Tunisia against artists who are addressing social injustice and criticising government and police through art and activism. Photographer Fakhri El-Ghezal, artist Atef Maatallah, …

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Tunisia: Musicians confronted with censorship and repression

11 November 2015

Of Tunisia’s entire artistic community, the musicians – and in particular urban rappers – have borne the brunt of the state’s censorship and repression. A wide legal arsenal has been used to drag musicians into court and throw them unceremoniously into gaol. By Daniel Brown     ARTSFREEDOM | INSIGHT In …

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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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The alternative voices: Artists in the Arab world

9 September 2015

Sandwiched between two of the most deadly terrorist attacks Tunisia has known in decades, several dozen artists from the Arab world gathered in Tunis to debate the link between art and violence. Many face censorship or deadly threats to their art and lives as their countries have been sucked into …

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Artistic freedom: Tunisia walks a narrow tightrope

9 September 2015

At first, much of the heavy-handed censorship on artists by the Ben Ali regime appeared to have been swept away. But as artists are more frequently being arrested and charged in courts with penal codes of the pre-revolutionary days, Tunisian legislation has increasingly come under fire from defenders of freedom …

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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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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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Tunisia: Reconciling freedom of artistic expression with religion

10 October 2014

Aymen Allani calls for a new dialogue to be initiated in Tunisia between the proponents of absolute freedom of expression in the arts and those more conservative groups, who feel their religion threatened by such freedom. Opinion-piece by Aymen Allani, published by Common Ground News Service on 6 October 2014. …

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Tunisia and Egypt: Music censorship after the Spring

29 August 2014

‘The Cultural Spring’ in Tunisia and Egypt: Musicians are pushing the boundaries of artistic expression. By Victor Salama   While some Arab countries saw political changes in 2011 – president Ben Ali was ousted from power after ruling Tunisia for 24 years, Hosni Mubarak was deposed after ruling Egypt for …

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