Ukraine: Art exhibition suffered multiple threats and attacks

More than a dozen masked men stormed into the Visual Culture Research Centre (VCRC) on 7 February 2017, vandalized Davyd Chychkan’s ‘The Lost Opportunity’ exhibition and beat a security guard at the venue in Ukrainian capital Kiev, reported Polish network Political Critique on 8 February 2017. VCRC reported on its Facebook page that just a […]

Iran: Musician and filmmaker attacked and threatened in prison

On 5 March 2017, the Center for Human Rights in Iran reported that musician Mehdi Rajabian and filmmaker Keyvan Karimi have been beaten and threatened by other inmates in Tehran’s infamous Evin Prison while being imprisoned in the ward for political prisoners. According to the organisation, authorities are violating the law by refusing to move […]

Turkey: Two sculptures removed after protests

City officials removed a sculpture from outside the A Plus shopping mall in the western part of Istanbul just two days after it went up after a “big crowd” protested the work, reported Artnet on 29 December 2016. Ahmet Güneştekin’s word sculpture featuring the old name for Istanbul – Konstantiniyye – in large, colourful block […]

India: Art exhibition vandalised, artist attacked

On 8 December 2016, right-wing activists from two different groups stormed the fourth annual Jaipur Art Summit, damaged paintings, attacked and injured a painter, and stole a painting in protest of it featuring semi-nude women, reported India Today on 8 December 2016. “It happened so fast. Painting is your heart, it is your baby. It […]

Sweden: New report examines threats against commissioners of art

Art galleries, publishers, libraries, museums and other promoters and curators of art, along with their staff, like artists, are also victims of attack for showing or making art available to the public and audiences, a new report by the Swedish Agency for Cultural Policy published 30 November 2016 revealed. The report, ‘Custodians or guards? Commissioning […]

Malaysia: Cartoonist arrested after exhibition attack

Cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, popularly known as Zunar, was arrested on 26 November 2016 for breaching the peace under Malaysia’s Sedition Act, just one day after an angry pro-government mob attacked his exhibition of satirical cartoons about the prime minister and other national leaders at the George Town Literary Festival, reported newspaper Free Malaysia Today. […]

Zimbabwe: Artist abducted and tortured

Artist and activist Silvanos Mudzvova is recovering in a Harare hospital after six armed men abducted him from his home late in the evening on 13 September 2016, drove him out of the capital city and brutally tortured him, Mudzvova told Freemuse from his hospital bed. “The people who took me were well trained and […]

Mauritania: Rapper harassed and attacked by police

Police stopped Mauritanian rapper Yëro Gaynääko (real name Yéro Abdoulaye Sow) on 16 August 2016 while on the road back to the capital Nouakchott, forcibly removing the rapper out of the car, accusing him of being drugged and taking him to a police station where he was assaulted and verbally abused, reported human rights organisation […]

Germany: Music festival attacked by suicide bomber

A 27-year-old Syrian asylum seeker blew himself up outside an open air music festival in the southern German town of Ansbach on 24 July 2016 after security guards turned him away for not having a ticket, reported The Guardian on 25 July 2016. The incident happened on the final evening of the three-day Ansbach Open […]

India: Writer detained over attempted murder charges

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 published on Dalit issues, reported […]

Central African Republic: Rapper beaten by army general

In early June 2016, Central African Republic rapper Vey-Zo was beaten at a bar in the capital city of Bangui by army general Roman Guitizia, put into the trunk of a car and taken to an army base where he was further tortured, according to information posted by civil society organisation Arterial Network on 30 […]

Turkey: Music fans attacked at Radiohead store event

Music fans enjoying a special worldwide release event on 17 June 2016 for rock band Radiohead’s latest album at record store Velvet Indieground in the Cihangir district of Istanbul were attacked by a mob of about 20 men who took offense to people listening to music and drinking alcohol during Ramadan, reported The Guardian 18 […]

Sweden: New report calls threat to art a threat to democracy

One out of three Swedish writers and visual artists have been exposed to threats, harassment, violence or vandalism, revealed a new report, ‘Culture under threat?’, published 14 April 2016 by Kulturanalys, the Swedish Agency for Cultural Policy. “The extent of this is so great that it must be seen as a real problem,” the agency’s […]

Iran: Actress attacked at film screening

Fatemeh Motamed-Aria, one of Iran’s most famous actresses, was attacked by religious hardliners at a screening of her movie ‘Yahya Did Not Stay Silent’ on 29 January 2016, according to The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. The actress joined the director and cast of the movie in Kashan, a city in the Isfahan […]

Morocco: Film actress attacked, humiliated and exiled

The Moroccan actress Lubna Abidar who starred in the movie ‘Zin li fik’ (‘Much Loved’) has been violently attacked in Morocco and has consequently fled to France to seek asylum in a European country. Lubna Abidar was reported to have left her country on 8 November 2015, travelling to France, after being attacked and injured […]

France: Deadly terror attack at rock concert in Paris

Over 80 rock music concertgoers are reported to have been shot dead in Paris. On 13 November 2015, 1,500 fans were attending a concert with the Californian rock band Eagles of Death Metal at the popular music venue Bataclan in Paris, France, when it was attacked by terrorist gunmen, and concertgoers were taken hostage.  
 The attack took place […]

Burkina Faso: Music studio in capital bombed after coup

Studio Abazon in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, was attacked in the early hours of 17 September 2015, allegedly targeted by coup soldiers because of the activism of its owner, rapper Smockey. The studio is owned and run by top Burkinabe rapper and revolutionary artist, Serges Martin Bambara – also known as Smockey (or […]

Russia: Art exhibition attacked and vandalised

On 26 August 2015, two people, a man and a woman, vandalised an art exhibition in Manège, an art exhibition hall in Manezhny Dvor in Moscow which has a history of controversy. This is Moscow Manège where the USSR Communist Party Secretary General Nikita Khruschov back in 1962 lambasted artists for their ‘degenerating art’. 80 […]

Cuba: Artist Tania Bruguera arrested again in Havana

On 7 June 2015, artist Tania Bruguera was arrested once again in Cuba, along with dozens of other activists, and was manhandled by the police, reported Hyperallergic. As with most information about Bruguera over the past few months, the news — which Hyperallergic has not been able to independently verify — comes via the Facebook […]

Turkey: 19-year-old singer attacked after threats

After appearing on the Turkish talent show Sesi Çok Güzel on national tv, the 19-year-old singer Mutlu Kaya reportedly received death threats and was attacked in her home, reported Agence France-Presse and Hurriyet on 18 May 2015. The assailant fired a bullet into the house through a back window in the garden, and Mutlu Kaya […]

Syria: Musicians punished for playing ‘un-Islamic’ instruments

In Bujaq, a few miles to the east of Aleppo in Syria, the ISIS religious police is reported to have beaten up four young men for playing music using socalled ‘un-Islamic’ instruments such as a keyboard and lute, reported Daily Mail. Images posted on a popular file sharing site showed ISIS policemen hitting the young […]

Afghanistan: Theatre performance attacked by suicide bomber

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 the bomb blast which came […]

Russia: Opera premiere cancelled after its composer was attacked

The premiere of a new opera in St. Petersburg has been cancelled after two venues refused to host it and the composer was savagely beaten and death threats were issued. The opera ‘New Jerusalem’ is composed by award-winning local composer Ilya Demutsky with librettist Artyom Suslov. The opera follows the actions of an individual who […]

Kazakhstan: Poet beaten in prison – call to action by PEN International

The imprisoned poet Aron Atabek – who is in ill health – has been tortured or otherwise ill-treated by prison guards. According to the poet’s son, Atabek has suffered regular beatings on the head and neck during his incarceration in Pavlodar prison. This was reported by PEN International. There is an absolute prohibition on the […]

Pakistan: Five killed in cinema attacked with hand grenades

On 2 February 2014, two hand grenades hurled into a cinema hall in Peshawar killed five persons and injured 31. Police were reportedly not surprised – they had been warning cinemas for a while that they needed to step up security. A stampede following the blasts was responsible for many of the injuries. Around 100 […]

Denmark: Young poet assaulted for ‘infidelity’

The young and nationally renowned Danish poet Yahya Hassan was beaten numerous times in the face and called an infidel. The incident happened at Copenhagen’s central railway station at 6pm on 18 November 2013 where Yahya Hassan had been waiting on a platform. Police arrived shortly after and arrested the person who was identified as […]

Several musicians brutally killed in Mexico

Several of the musicians from the Mexican group Kombo Kolombia who have been reported missing since 24 January, have been found dead. It is still uncertain how many band members that have been killed.  Kombo Kolombia had been playing a gig in a private bar on Thursday 24 January and alledgedly the muicians were abducted […]

Exiled Syrian film producer and cartoonist honoured with award

Exiled Syrians film producer Orwa Nyrabia and political cartoonist Ali Farzat were smiling and making jokes in Copenhagen with good reason. They each received the Danish Poul Lauritzen human rights award and 10,000 euros each for their work on human rights and political freedom in Syria. With the ongoing violence in Syria, the PL Foundation […]

Israel: Theatre director Zakaria Zubeidi released on bail

Zakaria Zubeidi, theatre director and one of the founders of the Freedom Theatre in Jenin, Palestine, was released on 1 October 2012. He has been detained in a prison in Jericho since 13 May 2012, most of the time without charges. Zubeidi was detained during a wave of raids and arrests in his home city […]

Turkey: Grup Yorum members allegedly tortured in custody

A singer and a violinist with the left-wing band Grup Yorum claim they were tortured in police custody after they were detained during an unauthorized demonstration in İstanbul’s Yenibosna neighborhood. Grup Yorum vocalist Sema Altın and violinist Ezgi Dilan were taken into custody after they had participated in protests in front of the Council of […]

Angola: Rapper arrested for drug smuggling: ‘I was framed’

Luaty Beirão, a popular Angolan rapper known by the artist name Ikonoklasta, has been beaten up, arrested, his house broken into, his girlfriend kidnapped, and his family has been terrorised with anonymous death threats. On 11 June 2012, he was arrested again – this time at Portela Airport in the Portugese capital Lisboa after customs […]

Sudan: Reported death sentence against poet

Sudanese poet Abdelmoniem Rahma was reportedly tried in a military court in November and there have been alarming reports that he has since been sentenced to death. It is unclear, however, on what charges he has been convicted. He has been denied access to a lawyer and his family do not know his whereabouts. There are […]

Mexico: Musicians are kidnapped and tortured

On 8 April 2012, Julio Cesar Leyva Beltran, a singer with the Mexican band Los Ciclones del Arroyo, was kidnapped and tortured after refusing to perform a song requested by a group of people at a party, police said according to several news media. 41-year-old Julio Cesar Leyva Beltran was abducted from a party in […]

Azerbaijan: Two musicians detained

Two musicians and the leader of a youth organisation were detained after protests in the capital Baku on 17 March 2012. They are currently being held in Sabael District Police Office, and there is concern that they have been subjected to torture. “Fresh doubts have been raised about the suitability of Azerbaijan to host May’s Eurovision […]

Cartoonist Ali Ferzat: Revolution redefines art in Syria

BBC News interviewed the Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat who in August 2011 was attacked by masked men, beaten, and dumped by the side of the road. An attack which made headlines across the world. BBC News met the artist in a small art gallery behind Sloane Square in London where his sly deconstructions of authoritarianism […]

 

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