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United Nations member states urge Iran to improve human rights

21 November 2016

Eighty-five United Nations (UN) member states voted on 15 November 2016 calling upon Iranian authorities to take real steps in correcting its human rights record. The resolution builds upon last year’s adopted resolution where Iran accepted 130 recommendations made to its human rights record and practices stemming from the second …

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United Kingdom: University cancels musical due to race row

12 October 2016

A theatre at the University of Bristol cancelled all showings of its student production of musical ‘Aida’ due to protests over potential “cultural appropriation” that white students would be cast in the lead roles of ancient Egyptians and slaves, reported The Telegraph on 4 October 2016. The musical, written by …

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Malaysia: Censors alter ending of Indian gangster flick, cut scenes

17 August 2016

Malaysia’s Film Censorship Board (LPF) changed the ending of blockbuster Tamil film ‘Kabali’ to insert a captioned moral message that crime doesn’t pay for Malay audiences rather than the original ending audiences in the rest of the world will see in which the fate of the lead character is left …

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India: Writer detained over attempted murder charges

11 August 2016

Dalit writer Durai Guna and activist friend Bhoopathy Karthikeyan were arrested on 10 June 2016 for attempted murder during the Chennai Book Fair, though those close to the writer and human rights activists claim the charges are false and are a continuation of harassment Guna has suffered for works he’s …

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Sierra Leone: Two filmmakers detained and fined; film banned

5 April 2016

Police detained filmmakers Sheku Ngaojia and Alpha Sibbie on 8 March 2016 on charges that their latest film ‘Tribal War: Mende vs Temne’ provoked fear and incited ethnic conflict, according to Arterial Network. The filmmakers pleaded guilty to the charges on 18 March 2016 and opted to pay a 1,000,000 …

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Azerbaijan: Writer detained at airport

31 March 2016

Police detained writer Akram Aylisli for 11 hours at Baku’s Heydar Aliyev Airport, preventing him from traveling to a literary festival in Venice, Italy at which he was scheduled to appear, reported Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty on 30 March 2016. Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Interior reported that Aylisli was …

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Ethiopia: Crackdown on Oromo musicians

6 January 2016

The current unrest in the Oromia region with news reports about a state crackdown on musicians is nothing new in Ethiopia, explains Endalk in this background article. In the last two decades, any Oromo singer who gravitated towards political and social activism have been subjected to intimidation, abductions, and torture. …

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Ethiopia: Three singers arrested, abducted and tortured

6 January 2016

Three Oromo protest singers have reportedly been arrested, abducted and tortured in Ethiopia during December 2015: Hawi Tezera, Jireenyaa Shifarraa and Bilisummaa Dinquu. Hawi Tezera, an ethnic Oromo singer, was reportedly beaten, arrested, released and then rearrested in the space of just seven days in December 2015 by Ethiopian government …

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Bangladesh: Censorship board blocks minority language film

3 December 2015

The first Chakma language film in Bangladesh has been censored by the Bangladesh Film Censor Board By Pantha Rahman Reza   ‘Mor Thengari’ (‘My Bicycle’) is the first feature film made entirely in Chakma, an indigenous language spoken by the Chakma ethnic minority in Bangladesh. Directed by Aung Rakhine, the …

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Sweden: Israeli ambassador demands film banned in schools

2 November 2015

The Swedes are currently debating whether the film ‘The dead still have a name’ is anti-Semitic or not, and whether it should be banned, as the Israeli ambassador to Sweden has demanded. ‘The dead still have a name’ is a new film focusing on the ship drama in 2011 when …

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