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 […]

Cuba: Exhibition bans photo of official tabloid being used as toilet paper

Cuban photographer Erick Coll stated via his Facebook account that one of his works depicting a woman using the state-run weekly tabloid Trabajadores (Workers) as toilet paper was removed from the Erotic Art Salon at the Fayad Jamis’ Gallery in Havana, reported El Nuevo Herald on 10 February 2017. The banned photograph entitled “Valor de […]

Jordan: Film allegedly banned after special screening

Director Mahmoud Assad in a statement said that Jordan’s Media Commission has banned his latest film ‘Blessed Benefit’ because it “contains several scenes that undermine the state’s authority”, reported news site AgiArab on 21 February 2017. Massad refuted the allegations by saying that security agencies granted him permission to shoot the film in 2014 and […]

China: Gallery cancels event due to government pressure over Tibetan artist

Macau-based iAOHiN Amber gallery cancelled Tibetan painter Tashi Norbu’s live painting event after receiving pressure from Chinese government officials, reported Hong Kong Free Press on 27 February 2017. The artist, who was in Hong Kong at the time, added that Chinese authorities threatened to arrest and deport him if he tried to enter Macau, reported […]

Kuwait/Lebanon/UAE: Countries ban Egyptian film over religious concerns

Egyptian film ‘Mawlana’ (Preacher) has been banned in Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon over backlash from religious clerics ami fears it could “incite sectarian strife”, reported Arab Times Online, An-Nahar and Al Bawaba in February 2017. Lebanese censors objected to 12 minutes of the film, saying it “could incite sectarian strife and provoke […]

Nigeria: Singer arrested, out on bail for releasing uncensored song

Singer Sadiq Zazzabi (real name: Sadiq Usman Saleh) was released on bail on 6 March 2017 after having been detained since 1 March 2017 for allegedly releasing a song before receiving approval from the Kano State Censorship Board in the country’s north, reported Nigerian newspaper Premium Times on 6 March 2017. The newspaper reported on […]

Turkey: Artist sentenced to two years and ten months in prison

Turkish artist, activist and journalist Zehra Doğan was sentenced to two years, nine months and 22 days imprisonment for her painting showing the destruction by Turkish security forces of the Kurdish city of Mardin in the Nusaybin district, reported Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet on 6 March 2017. While on assignment for the all-female news agency JINHA […]

Spain: Censorship under Franco still looms over the arts

While Dr. Jordi Cornella, currently a lecturer in Hispanic studies at the University of Glasgow, began his research on censorship in translated works under Francisco Franco’s dictatorial regime in Spain (1939-1975), his findings took an unexpected turn. “It was a total surprise,” Cornella told Freemuse, explaining his discovery that literary works that had been censored […]

Turkey: Two mayors ban Kurdish director’s film

Two Turkish mayors have imposed bans on Kurdish director Mahsun Kırmızıgül’s latest film  ‘Vezir Parmağı’ because they say it “undermines national and spiritual values” and the is considered to be a Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) “sympathiser”, reported Hurriyet Daily News on 2 February 2017. Anamur district mayor Mehmet Ture said he wouldn’t let a film […]

Azerbaijan: Rapper’s family detained over music video

Azerbaijani authorities detained rapper Jamal Ali’s mother, uncle and two cousins for four days after Ali released an online music video critical of the government, reported Eurasianet on 9 January 2017. The video for song ‘Heykal Baba’ (Monument Grandpa) was released on 31 December 2016 and was dedicated to two young activists who are serving […]

Cuba: Artist El Sexto released after two months in prison

Cuban artist Danilo “El Sexto” Maldonado was released from maximum-security prison on 21 January 2017 after spending two months behind bars and being moved multiple times among several detention centres, reported Artforum on 21 January 2017. El Sexto was released after the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNGWAD) began reviewing a legal petition […]

Ukraine: Banning of films continues

By Oksana Chelysheva In the period from 2014 to 2017 over 500 films produced in Russia have been banned from being broadcast and distributed in Ukraine. The list published by Ukraine’s National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting comprises not only films produced in Russia during the conflict which erupted in spring 2014, but also […]

USA: Artists arrested, banned, receive death threats related to Trump actions

Italian opera tenor Andrea Bocelli and US singer Jennifer Holliday both backed out from performing at the US presidential inauguration of Donald Trump just days before the event revealing they received death threats if they went ahead with their performances, reported Daily Mail on 15 January 2017. “They were saying I should kill myself or […]

USA: Censorship continues in public spaces and schools

Throughout 2016 and into the beginning of 2017, the US has seen multiple cases of censorship and attempted censorship of art in public spaces and schools. Murals on public walls or in university halls, books in school curricula and productions of plays and musicals have all been targeted by a variety of groups because of […]

China: Ministry of Culture allegedly blacklists 55 artists

China has allegedly blacklisted 55 artists, mostly musicians, a majority of whom are from Hong Kong and Taiwan, who have participated in pro-democracy movements or expressed political views that China deems objectionable, reported Quartz on 11 January 2017. Hints of the blacklist came a week earlier, on 6 January, when works by some pop artists […]

Zambia: Hounded singer remains defiant

by Phoenix Gauthier, Freemuse correspondent On 11 August 2016, incumbent Zambian president Edgar Lungu squeezed out a controversial victory in the general elections, taking 50.35% of the votes. In the months that followed, Zambia experienced its worst attacks on press freedom in years. Three of its media outlets were suspended, including Muvi TV, the southern […]

Turkey: Detained artist released, awaiting trial

Turkish artist, activist and journalist Zehra Doğan was released from Turkey’s Mardin Women’s Prison on 9 December 2016 after having been arrested and detained on 21 July 2016 on charges of being a “member of an illegal organisation”. Though free, Doğan will face trial in Febraury 2017, reported IFEX on 21 December 2016. Prosecutors used […]

Burundi: Music censorship or artist protection?

Since a political crisis hit Burundi in May 2015, tensions have been high between the powers that be and the opposition; the media and civil society have all been involved in this polarising battle; and it seems that the newest victims of this battle are local musicians who now need to pass a “quality test” […]

Israel: Police temporarily shut down Palestinian theatre

Israeli forces posted a notice outside the el-Hakawati Theatre (also known as the Palestinian National Theatre) in Jerusalem stating the theatre would be closed from six o’clock in the evening until midnight on 8 December 2016 to prevent the performance of a musical they claim is linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of […]

Cuba: Festival bans film portraying Castro’s ill treatment of homosexuals

The Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC) decided to ban the film ‘Santa y Andrés’, which had been pre-selected for display at the Festival of New Latin American Cinema in Havana, also known as the Havana Film Festival, that took place 8-18 December 2016. The film was deemed contrary to Revolutionary values and […]

Russia: Artistic freedom threatened by nationalist and orthodox groups

While Russian president Vladimir Putin vowed in a meeting with film directors and artists in early December 2016 to protect artistic freedom, he also said artists carry a responsibility not to offend religious believers, saying “there is a very narrow divide between dangerous shock value and freedom of creativity”, reported The New York Times on […]

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 […]

Turkey: Novelist released on probation after 132 days of detention

Novelist Aslı Erdoğan was released from prison on 29 December 2016 after 132 days of being held in pre-trial detention on charges of terror propaganda due to her affiliation, as an advisory board member, to newspaper Özgür Gündem, reported The Guardian on 30 December 2016. The writer was released on probation, pending trial. If convicted, […]

Switzerland: Zurich cuts theatre’s funds in light of controversial play

The canton of Zurich cut its 2017 grants by 50,000 Francs (approx. $49,000 USD) to Neumarkt Theatre following the staging of a controversial play by artist Philipp Ruch that mocked publisher and parliamentarian Roger Köppel, member of the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP), reported Swissinfo.ch on 7 December 2016. During the play, the public was […]

Cuba: Artist El Sexto violently arrested over Castro-related graffiti

Cuban artist Danilo “El Sexto” Maldonado was violently arrested by state security forces at his apartment in capital Havana, on 26 November 2016, hours after he took to the streets, upon the official announcement of Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro’s death, and painted graffiti around the city stating “se fue”(he’s gone), reported Cuban newspaper 14ymedio […]

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. […]

Iran: Filmmaker begins serving prison sentence

Iranian filmmaker Keywan Karimi began serving his one-year prison sentence on 23 November 2016 on charges stemming from his 2012 film ‘Neveshtan Rooy-e Shahr’ (‘Writing on the City’) on the history of Iranian graffiti and wall writing and how it has changed due to political and social events, reported AFP. Karimi, who is from a […]

Ukraine: Film agency bans slew of Russian films and one German film

According to the Ukrainian State Film Agency, it has banned at least 26 Russian tv series and films since September 2016 from being aired on television or screened in cinemas across the country in accordance with Article 15-1 of its Law on Cinematography, which prohibits content that “popularizes” or features propaganda of “aggressors”. In addition […]

Iran: Artist awaits appeal of five-year prison sentence

Iranian artist and painter Shahriar Siroos is awaiting a judgment on his appeal over his five-year prison sentence handed down by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court in September 2016 on charges of establishing a group to “perturb the security of the country” related to him teaching art classes at his home, reported International Campaign […]

Bolivia: Feminist mural criticising church and state censored

On 12 October 2016, a group of unidentified people painted over a mural just one day after it had been finished and displayed on the façade of the Museo Nacional de Arte (National Art Museum) in La Paz, Bolivia, because the group was strongly offended by its negative and graphic portrayal of two core Bolivian […]

South Korea: Alleged government blacklist of 9,473 artists over politics

South Korean daily newspaper Hankook Ilbo revealed on 11 October 2016 that the South Korean government blacklisted 9,473 artists from receiving state support, including financial support, due to their political activity of either being critical of the current government or backing opposition politicians, reported The Korea Times on 12 October 2016. The 100-page blacklist is […]

Lebanon: Two films pulled from festival over politics

In its 16th year, the Beirut International Festival announced on 5 October 2016 that three films would no longer be part of the schedule due to Lebanese authorities not granting screening permits; however later in the week one movie, ‘The Nights of Zayandeh-Rood’ directed by Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf, acquired the required permit and made […]

China: Singer’s music scrubbed from online music services due to Hong Kong activism

Music fans in China have reported that several major Chinese music and video streaming platforms, as well as the Chinese iTunes store, have removed, blocked or filtered out the music and online content of pop star Denise Ho, who has been active in the Hong Kong independence and pro-democracy movement since 2014, as well as […]

China: Tibetan poet re-detained after being released from prison one day earlier

Chinese authorities took writer and poet Gangkye Drupa Kyab back into custody just one day after his early release, having spent over four years of a five-and-a-half year sentence in a prison in southwestern China’s Sichuan province, reported Radio Free Asia on 23 September 2016. Kyab was released on 16 September and went back to […]

Ukraine: Government to bar blacklisted Russian singers in European song contest

The Ukrainian government said on 9 September 2016 that it would deny entry into the country to blacklisted Russian singers competing for the 62nd Eurovision contest set to take place in capital Kiev in May 2017 if they are found to support the separatist cause stemming from Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, reported Reuters on 9 […]

Somalia: Concert cancelled for “objectionable” shows in Europe

A concert with singer Nasteexo Indho, along with DJ Subeer and the singers from Stars of the Horn, was cancelled one hour before it was scheduled to begin on 13 August 2016 in Hargeisa as armed soldiers surrounded the DJ and a young TV cameraman, informing them of the cancellation and that Nasteexo would be […]

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 […]

Turkey: Writer and brother detained on alleged coup-related charges

Prominent Turkish writer Ahmet Altan and his brother, academic and columnist Mehmet Altan, were detained by polce on 10 September 2016 for questioning on alleged coup-related charges that the brothers, according to the prosecutor’s office, “gave subliminal messages suggesting a military coup” on a TV programme that aired on 14 July 2016, a day before […]

Egypt: Satirist troupe released after long detention, restrictions remain

A Cairo court ordered the release of four members of the satirist troupe ‘Street Children’ after it granted their appeal over a tenth renewal of their pre-trial detention that would have extended their already four-month-long imprisonment by 15 more days, though the investigation on various charges related to their online videos will continue, reported Aswat […]

China: Ai Weiwei pulled from exhibition under political pressure

Outspoken Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was dropped from the Yinchuan Biennale exhibition just weeks before it was scheduled to open due to “governmental pressure”, as confirmed by the Biennial Foundation, the New York-based group organising the exhibit, reported The New York Times on 26 August 2016. The artist received what he called “a vague letter” […]

Sierra Leone: Musician allegedly censored due to political song

Popular musician Emmerson Bockarie claims the government has banned him from playing a concert in Sierra Leone capital Freetown and a radio DJ has said that his station manager told him to not play the artist’s latest hit ‘Munku Boss Pan Matches’ (‘A Kid in a Candy Store’), a 15-minute song that criticises the government […]

Israel: Detained Palestinian poet heads to trial over poem

On 6 September 2016, Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour heads back to trial facing charges that one of her poems posted on YouTube and two Facebook posts constitute “incitement to violence”, a charge that carries a prison term of up to eight years. The charges mainly relate to Tatour’s poem on YouTube, ‘Resist my people, resist’, […]

Iran: Concerts in the crosshairs

Religious conservatives in Iran have been tightening control over the nation’s cultural and moral values ever since the 2013 election of liberal President Hassan Rouhani and the 2015 nuclear deal, amidst fears that the country will lose its values to Western influences. Art, especially music and live concerts, has become one such target for religious […]

India: Artists struggle with censors over LGBT and other themes

In recent months filmmakers and playwrights have been challenging Indian certification boards after works focusing on LGBT, political and religious themes have come under fire by censors, especially at a time when nationalist ideas and groups are gaining traction in the public and political spheres. LGBT themes in film India’s Central Board of Film Certification […]

Egypt: Satirist troupe’s detention renewed, totalling 105 days

The Giza Criminal Court rejected satirist troupe Street Children’s second appeal against their lengthy pre-trial detention and further extended their detention by yet another 15 days, meaning that the four members of the group have been in detention for 105 days awaiting an investigation or even a court date, reported Daily News Egypt on 1 […]

Turkey: Writer arrested amidst crackdown after coup attempt

Turkish police arrested novelist Aslı Erdoğan on 16 August 2016 in a raid on her apartment after a Turkish court ordered the temporary closure of newspaper Özgür Gündem. Erdoğan is on the advisory board of the newspaper. The closure is part of an intense state-of-emergency crackdown in response to a failed coup attempt on 15 […]

USA: Anti-Donald Trump song censored

US presidential nominee Donald Trump and the secret service demanded changes be made to two songs by rapper YG on his latest album released in June 2016 for anti-Trump lyrics, reported entertainment news outlet Vulture on 16 June 2016. The two censored songs – ‘FDT’ (an abbreviation for Fuck Donald Trump) and ‘Blacks and Browns’ […]

India: Film censorship continues unabated

Even after losing the high profile, month-long battle with the film producers of ‘Udta Punjab’ wherein India’s Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) called for nearly 100 cuts/edits, the board continues to censor films throughout the country at a fast clip. Though the CBFC has been embroiled in controversy over its decisions and methods, other government […]

Thailand: Four flicks banned from film festival

Thailand Film Destination Festival state organisers pulled four films from their festival, but have not made their reasons officially clear, though observers have noted that the dropped films had raunchy or violent scenes that showed the country in a bad light, reported The Straits Times on 10 July 2016. One of the banned films was […]

Somalia: Security forces arrest musician

Security forces in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, arrested musician Farhan Hidig (Farxaan Xidig) in late June 2016 due to him visiting Mogadishu and remains in custody, according to Freemuse sources. According to local media sources the musician was arrested in connection to his political activity. Somaliland authorities have not commented yet on Hidig’s arrest. While […]

Ukraine: Belarusian singer denied entry due to Crimea concert

Belarusian singer Max Korzh was denied entry into Ukraine on 17 February 2016 where he was due to go on his five-city tour in the country in early March, reported BBC Ukraine on 26 February 2016. While organisers said the tour would be postponed until later in the year, press secretary for Ukraine’s security service […]

China: American singer banned due to Dalai Lama meeting

American pop star Lady Gaga is the latest addition to the ever-growing list of artists banned by China for their meetings with the Dalai Lama or stances on Tibet, reported The Guardian on 28 June 2016. The singer met with the Dalai Lama on 26 June 2016 at the US Conference of Mayors for approximately […]

Egypt: Satirist troupe’s detention renewed, amounting to 75 days

A North Cairo court decided on 2 July 2016 to renew the detention of satirist troupe Street Children for yet another 15 days, reported Egyptian online news source Aswat Masriya on 2 July 2016. This latest renewal is the group’s fifth such consecutive ruling totalling 75 days in detention as they await ever-delayed court proceedings […]

Nigeria: Musician kidnapped, found, later detained allegedly due to song

Musician Ado Daukaka was abducted in Adamawa State in north-eastern Nigeria in the early hours of 25 June 2016 just after the release of his latest anti-corruption song ‘Gyara Kayanka’ (‘Put your house in order’), and found five days later on 29 June 2016 unconscious in some bushes 80 kilometres away from state capital of […]

Myanmar/Burma: Censors pull film from human rights festival

Myanmar’s film censorship board banned the film ‘Twilight over Burma’ on the grounds that it could “harm ethnic unity” and the “image of the military” as it tells the real-life story of an Austrian woman who married an ethnic Shan prince during the early days of the country’s independence and 1962 military coup, reported The […]

Russia: Ministry censors theatre company’s festival performances

Government authorities have banned Russian independent theatre company Teatr.doc’s production of the play ‘Pushkin and Money’, scedduled to be part of a theatre festival on 12 June 2016 at the Moscow Hermitage Garden, reported The Calvert Journal on 13 June 2016. In a Deutsche Welle interview with the play’s director Anastasia Patlay, published on 13 June 2016, […]

India: Film survives censor board controversy after court ruling

Controversial film ‘Udta Punjab’ (‘Flying Punjab’), which depicts drug use in the northern Indian state of Punjab, will be released on 17 June 2016 with only one cut, ruled the Bombay High Court, after it had been embroiled in a fight over censorship in which the national censorship board called for up to 94 cuts […]

Iran: Film screening banned due to religious pressure

Iran’s Ministry of Culture withdrew the screening permit for director Mani Haghighi’s film ’50 Kilos of Tart Cherries’ in the city of Tabas in central Iran after a local imam during Friday prayers said the film is “destroying revolutionary values”, reported Radio Zamaneh on 30 May 2016. Imam Hojatoleslam Ebrahim Mohajerian criticised the ministry for […]

Malaysia: Artist charged over caricature of prime minister

Malaysian ‘visual disobedience’ artist Fahmi Reza has been charged over a clown caricature of Malaysian Prime Minister Razak. He faces a possible one-year prison sentence and a US$16,580 fine, said his attorney according to AFP on 6 June 2016. On his Facebook page, the 38-year-old artist wrote: “I am not afraid to stand trial for […]

Iran: Musician and filmmaker imprisoned

According to Freemuse sources, musician Mehdi Rajabian and his brother, filmmaker Hossein Rajabian, were imprisoned for their art on 5 June 2016. They have been convicted to three years imprisonment. Please help us in getting the charges dropped against the two artists and freeing Mehdi and Hossein by taking action and sharing the video below and using the […]

Turkey: Local man smashes “obscene” sculpture

A wooden sculpture by Amancio Gonzalez Andres entitled ‘Musician’ featured at the Izmirspor metro station in western Turkey was smashed by a local man who called the statue “obscene”, Hurriyet News reported on 27 May 2016. Sculptor Andres told Birgün newspaper on 27 May 2016 he condemned the attack on his art piece and that […]

Iran: Two musicians and a filmmaker summoned to prison

A summons order issued on 27 May 2016 by Iranian authorities requires musicians Mehdi Rajabian, Yousef Emadi and filmmaker Hossein Rajabian to turn themselves in to prison by 31 May 2016 to serve out their three-year sentences. The summons orders them to report to the Office of the Prosecutor at Tehran’s Evin Prison. “Art is […]

China: Political art installation pulled from public space in Hong Kong

Government officials and exhibition organisers pulled a light installation just five days into its run set to be projected onto the façade of Hong Kong’s tallest building, the ICC tower, from 17 May 2016 to 22 June 2016 after the artists revealed that part of the piece had a political message, reported the BBC on […]

Afghanistan: Kandahar authorities ban broadcast of songs by women

Local Ministry of Information and Culture authorities in the southern Kandahar province of Afghanistan have banned women’s songs from being broadcast across local media, directly affecting the 11 radio stations in operation in the area, reported Afghanistan’s TOLONews on 23 May 2016. Head of Wranga Radio in Kandahar told TOLONews that “local officials in Kandahar […]

Myanmar/Burma: Poet sentenced to six months in prison for defamation

Poet Maung Saung Kha was sentenced on 24 May 2016 to six months in prison for defaming former president Thein Sein in a poem he posted on his Facebook page in October 2015, reported PEN International on 25 May 2016. The poet was arrested on 5 November 2015, charged for online defamation under the country’s Telecommunications […]

Iran: Concerts cancelled under pressure from religious conservatives

This article on cancelled concerts and the nebulous state of artistic freedom due to opposing viewpoints between religious conservatives and the government in Iran was originally published by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran on 19 May 2016, who have kindly allowed Freemuse to republish it here: Concerts of Popular Iranian Musicians Cancelled Due […]

Tanzania: Artist banned from performing due to “immoral” video

Snura Mushi’s latest popular hit ‘Chura’ has not only led Tanzanian authorities to ban the video and its distribution on 4 May 2016, just days after the video hit the internet, but they have also banned the artist from performing until the video is edited, Tanzanian newspaper Daily News reported on 5 May 2016. The […]

France: Mayor cancels WWI centenary concert over rapper’s “anti-France” lyrics

Verdun city mayor Samuel Hazard cancelled French rapper Black M’s concert commemorating the 100-year anniversary of WWI’s Battle of Verdun due to protests fuelled by far-right website’s fdesouche.com post on the rapper’s “anti-France” and homophobic lyrics, reported French radio station RFI on 14 May 2016. The site, along with National Front party members, in particular […]

South Korea: Dance group performances cancelled due to Chinese threats

New York-based dance troupe Shen Yun has felt China’s long reach in South Korea when they found their recent scheduled performances cancelled by court order “explicitly citing threats by the Chinese embassy”, reported The Diplomat on 9 May 2016. The trouble between Shen Yun, the Korean Broadcasting Service (KBS) which runs the theatre venue KBS […]

Turkey: Art exhibitions cancelled, a troubling trend

Turkey continues to repress artists from expressing their thoughts and ideas under the guise of a variety of concerns, including national security.  Visual artists, gallery owners, curators and collectives are having their works shut down or are choosing to self-censor under intense pressure from authorities and social groups. Sara Whyatt explains one of the recent […]

Egypt: Five members of satirist troupe arrested

As the climate for artists, journalists, intellectuals and regular citizens who wish to criticise, politicise or simply satirise current Egyptian values and society gets more heated and dangerous, a troupe of young comedians has become the latest group to be targeted by authorities. Freemuse stringer Shahira Amin reports on the recent developments in the deteriorating state […]

Germany: Turkey attempts to stop EU funding orchestra performance

Markus Rindt, the director of the Dresden Symphony, has claimed that Turkey has demanded the European Commission (EC) pull its 200,000 Euros funding from the ‘Aghet’ art project, in which his orchestra will perform a piece on 30 April 2016 marking the 101-year anniversary of the Armenian genocide, reported The Independent on 25 April 2016. […]

Jordan: Rock concert banned for “contradicting” religious beliefs

The Jordanian Ministry of Interior has confirmed that it banned Lebanese rock band Mashrou’ Leila from performing their concert set to take place on 29 April 2016 at the Roman Theatre in the country’s capital of Amman, reported CNN Arabic on 27 April 2016. The popular band, whose music has been called the “soundtrack to […]

Iran: Imprisoned cartoonist wins appeal, soon free

Iranian artist and cartoonist Aten Farghadani will be released from prison on 11 May 2016, according to her lawyer Mohammad Moghimi, after an appeals court reduced her original 12-year-and-nine-month sentence down to 18 months, reported IranWire on 25 April 2016. “Miss Farghadani has been acquitted of the charges of ‘gathering and colluding with counter-revolutionary elements’ […]

China: American pop star tour dates cancelled

Chinese authorities have allegedly banned US pop star Selena Gomez from performing two dates in the country on her Revival Tour due to photos of her with the Dalai Lama posted on her social media profiles in 2014, reported The New Zealand Herald on 20 April 2016. The singer was set to play in Guangzhou […]

Iran: Banned music legend may sing again

Mohammed Reza Shajarian has been known as Iran’s “king of singing” for his renditions of classical poems and religious prayers; however, since he publicly supported the Green Movement against Ahmadinejad in June 2009, Shajarian found himself the victim of a nation-wide ban, unable to perform live or release music. Now, at 76, Shajarian has announced, […]

Turkey: Baby donkeys, insults and presidents

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is notorious for bringing thousands of his citizens, including many artists, up on insult charges ever since he took power in 2014. Freemuse continues to report on the president’s repression of artistic expression; and while he currently tries to force another country – Germany – to do the same on his behalf, artists […]

Jordan: Concert by Israeli musician in Wadi Rum cancelled

Israeli musician Nadav Dagon cancelled his appearance at a three-day music festival scheduled from 7-9 April 2016 in Jordan’s Wadi Rum desert after outcry against the performance surfaced on social media, reaching several parts of Jordan’s society and political groups, reported The Jerusalem Post on 4 April 2016. A group of members of parliament signed a […]

Zimbabwe: Theatre producer arrested for staging one-man play

Police arrested theatre producer and actor Silvanos Mudzvova on 13 April 2016 in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare for staging his new play ‘Missing Diamonds, I Need My Share’ at parliament, reported national newspaper News Day. Mudzvova was released later that evening, according to the artist’s Facebook status update on 14 April 2016: “Cdes, colleagues and friends […]

Indonesia: West Aceh bans outdoor concerts

The regency of West Aceh has banned all outdoor concerts based on a recommendation from a group of Muslim scholars trained in Shari’a law, reported The Sydney Morning Herald on 7 April 2016. Ulema, the body of scholars, believed that outdoor concerts had “more disadvantages than advantages”, leading West Aceh regent Teuku Alaidinsyah to no […]

Ukraine: All Russian films released since 2014 banned

The Ukrainian parliament has voted to ban all Russian films made since 1 January 2014 as a means to limit “propaganda used by an occupant-state” and defend “national security in the information sphere”, reported Russia Today on 30 March 2016. Ukraine already had a Law on Cinematography in place adopted in 2015 that banned Russian […]

Pakistan: Punjabi film banned

Pakistan’s Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has banned Indian Punjabi film ‘Ambarsariya’ for “strong references” to the country’s research and analysis wing of its intelligence agency, reported The Express Tribune on 1 April 2016. The film’s distributors appeal to have the full board review the film again was granted, but the same decision was […]

Sierra Leone: Two filmmakers detained and fined; film banned

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 leone fine (approx. USD $200) […]

Burundi: Comedian detained for making fun of president

Popular Burundian comedian and radio host Alfred Aubin Mugenzi, known popularly as Kigingi, was arrested and detained for three days by SNR agents from the country’s national intelligence service on 29 March 2016, family members told News 24 on 1 April 2016. Agents told the comedian’s family that he was arrested for contempt for a […]

Azerbaijan: Writer detained at airport

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 held in connection with a […]

Pakistan: Two Bollywood films banned

In the continued practice of Pakistan banning the release of Indian-made films, ‘Ishq Forever’ and ‘Neerja’ are the two latest films that will not be given screen time in the country, according to multiple sources. Pakistan’s Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) determined romantic drama ‘Ishq Forever’ to be “objectionable”, reported The Express Tribune on […]

China: New guidelines ban multiple topics from tv

Chinese censors issued an eight-page document on 31 December 2015 on the production of tv content, forbidding a wide range of topics, including same-sex relationships, CNN reported on 3 March 2016. Though the document was released at the end of 2015, Chinese media only began reporting on the new guidelines at the end of February […]

Egypt: Screening of Israeli award-winning film cancelled

The Egyptian Culture Ministry cancelled a screening of Eran Kolirin’s film ‘The Band’s Visit’ that was to take place at the Palace of Culture in Beni Suef, 115 kilometres south of Cairo, Misr Journal reported on 23 January 2016. The film was set to be screened on 24 January 2016, but the regional cultural president […]

Burundi: Musician detained for insulting head of state

Cedric Bangirinama, a musician also known as Bangy, was arrested on 27 January 2016 by SNR agents from Burundi’s national intelligence service for statements he made on his personal Facebook account that were deemed “insulting to the head of state”, French-language Burundi news portal Iwacu reported on 2 February 2016. Witnesses say they saw agents […]

Mexico: Two more states ban narcocorridos

The governors of the states of Sinaloa and Coahuila are imposing restrictions on public performances of narcocorridos and movimiento alterado artists, joining the state of Chihuahua, which was the first state in the newest round to ban narcocorridos beginning in 2015. There are now three states in Mexico imposing limitations to these music genres, which […]

Egypt: Fear of heavy metal returns

Recent controversies in Egypt over heavy metal music continue to highlight findings in the 2010 Freemuse report “Headbanging against Repressive Regimes”, wherein the music and its fans remain misunderstood and victims of conservative policies and societies. Freemuse Egypt stringer, Shahira Amin, explains the recent events around heavy metal concerts, the role of the Musicians Syndicate and its […]

Brazil: Poet censored in Bahia

A billboard displaying Livia Natalia’s ‘Quadrilha’ poem, in the city of Itabuna in southern Bahia, was taken down after four days due to its portrayal of a black character killed by military police; the billboard was originally approved to stay up for two months, Brazilian newspaper Globo reported on 21 January 2016. The billboard received […]

Zimbabwe: Comedy’s cautious climb

Zimbabwe’s nascent comedy scene is quickly spreading across the southern African nation, from its capitol’s urban landscape to other major cities; and growing in its diversity, from its humble beginnings in stand-up to news satire distributed via DVD. However, in its infancy, comedy in Zimbabwe still faces challenges as the topics it touches upon make […]

Iran: Two musicians and a filmmaker sentenced

Branch 54 of the Tehran Appeals Court has issued their final judgment on Mehdi Rajabian, Hossein Rajabian and Yousef Emadi, sentencing each of the three artists to three years in prison, three years probation and a 200 million rial (about  USD 6,600) fine, reported the Human Rights Activists News Agency on 29 February 2016. According to a source of […]

Iran: Filmmaker loses appeal, receives reduced prison sentence and lashes

An Iranian appeals court sentenced filmmaker Keywan Karimi to one year in prison, 223 lashes and a fine for “shaking hands with women and drinking alcoholic drinks”, Reuters reported on 22 February 2016. In an interview with The Times of India published on 23 February 2016, Karimi said he would serve out the sentence and […]

Iran: Two poets flee due to censorship and imprisonment

Iranian poets and song-writers Fatemeh Ekhtesari and Mehdi Moosavi, who were sentenced to 11.5 and nine years in prison respectively, and 99 lashes each, have fled their native Iran some time in February 2016 while their cases were still pending, reported Huffington Post. In an interview with Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty published on […]

Bangladesh: Tibetan art exhibit censored under Chinese pressure

The Chinese ambassador to Bangladesh, Ma Mingqiang, found the ‘Last Words’ exhibit at the Dhaka Art Summit “offensive” and called for its removal as it featured copies of handwritten letters written by five Tibetans before they self-immolated in protest against the Chinese government, reported ArtNet News on 9 February 2016. Organisers of the summit felt […]

Greece: Political play shut down due to threats

A play revolving around the Greek 17 November urban guerrilla group entitled ‘Nash’s Balance’ was shut down four days early due to threats to actors and theatregoers, reported Reuters. According to the director Pigi Dimitrakopoulou, the political play was “inspired by literary and historical texts, the minutes of the 17 November trial and Savvas Xiros’s […]

Italy: Nude statues covered up for Iranian president

Classic nude statues were covered up in Rome’s Capitoline museum when Iranian president Hassan Rouhani walked through its halls during his Italy visit, reported The Guardian on 27 January 2016. Rouhani and Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi held a press conference in the museum and it is supposed the statues were covered up so as […]

Nigeria: Artists’ Village demolished

On 23 January 2016 the Artists’ Village at the National Arts Theatre in Lagos was demolished on the orders of the theatre’s management, reported news portal allAfrica.com. Artists said demolition began at around five o’clock in the morning under the supervision of the theatre’s general manager Kabiru Yusuf who was guarded by a team of […]

Iran: Singer banned from tv and festival

Salar Aghili has been banned from appearing on Iranian television and performing in the country’s Fajr International Music Festival, reported human rights organisation journalismisnotacrime.com on 26 January 2016. The famous singer was banned due to his appearance on Manoto TV, a Persian-language satellite channel based in London. Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ali Jannati […]

Nigeria: Artist arrested for political performance piece

Performance artist Jelili Atiku was arrested on 18 January 2016 for his performance entitled ‘Aragamago Will Rid this Land off Terrorism’, which he staged on 14 January 2016 in the Ejigbo area of Oshodi-Isolo in Lagos state, reported News 24 Nigeria. The artist and four others were arrested on a four-count charge of disturbing the […]

Russia: Theatre director says culture ministry vets new plays

A prominent Russian director has said theatres are required to approve new plays with the culture ministry, raising concerns of a return to censorship in a more conservative cultural climate. Valery Fokin, the award-winning artistic director of St Petersburg’s Alexandrinsky theatre, told the Ekho Moskvy radio station classic plays were not subject to oversight, but […]

Ukraine: Italian opera singer cancels concerts in Crimea

After the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture said on 18 January 2016 that it would cancel Italian opera singer Alessandro Safina’s concerts in the country since he also scheduled performances in Crimea, the singer announced on 22 January 2016 that he would cancel his two dates in the contested region, reported Ukraine Today. Safina said he […]

Egypt: Government cancels concert marking revolution anniversary

The band Elawela Balady posted on its Facebook page that they were informed by the Ministry of State of Antiquities to cancel a concert they had scheduled on 24 January 2016 to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the January 25 Revolution, reported The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information. The cancellation comes despite the fact […]

Turkey: Children’s play banned due to “inappropriate” song

A play that has been staged for children for the last 14 years was banned in the Çankaya District Directorate of Education of Turkey’s capital Ankara for having one song deemed “inappropriate”, reported Today’s Zaman on 14 January 2016. Playwright Serap Gültekin told newspaper Radikal that the application to stage her play ‘My Chess Pieces’ […]

China: Singers banned for nationalist statements and actions

Taiwanese-born singer Michael Huang’s songs and appearances on shows have been banned on Taiwanese media after he made critical comments against a teen pop star holding up the island’s flag during her appearance on a TV show, reported Now K Pop. On 8 January 2016 Huang posted a message on popular Chinese micro-blogging site Sina […]

Muzzled in Zimbabwe: One artist’s struggle to exhibit

Zimbabwean artist Owen Maseko first hit the headlines in March 2010 when he was arrested for exhibiting paintings and installations that depicted an episode of the country’s history that the government would rather not discuss. From 1983 to 1987 the army unleashed an orgy of violence on the people of Matabeleland and parts of the […]

Call on Iranian authorities to drop charges on two musicians and a filmmaker

Human rights organisations Freemuse and the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, along with 14 other organisations, protest the 2013 imprisonment and 2015 sentencing of musicians Mehdi Rajabian and Yousef Emadi, and filmmaker Hossein Rajabian, and call on the head of the judiciary and other Iranian authorities to drop the charges against them. Mehdi […]

Egypt: Poet banned from travel

Egyptian authorities prevented poet Omar Hazek from traveling to the Netherlands on 14 January 2016 where he was set to accept the 2016 Oxfam Novib/PEN Award for Freedom of Expression, reported PEN International. Authorities detained and questioned Hazek in Cairo International Airport for five hours, eventually releasing him, but not after confiscating his passport. Authorities […]

Nigeria: Singer detained for song critical of politician

Singer Baba Iyali was arrested on 9 January 2016 in the Adamawa state in north-eastern Nigeria for a song he recently released criticising the speaker of the Adamawa state house of assembly, Kabiru Mijinyawa. This was reported by the online news site The Whistle. The singer remains in detention in police headquarters in reportedly inhuman […]

Israel: Officials ban book on Jewish-Arab romance

Officials in Israel’s education ministry banned Dorit Rabinyan’s ‘Gader Haya’ (Borderlife) book from being taught in schools because the plot involving a mixed romantic relationship between an Israeli and Palestinian is perceived as “threatening”, newspaper The Telegraph reported. Ministry of Education officials who banned the book on 30 December 2015 said that “intimate relationships between […]

China: Hip-hop group censored and detained

Chinese rap trio IN3 may never be able perform in Beijing after garnering the current unenviable status of having the top 17 spots in China’s list of 120 banned songs, according to the Daily Mail. Due to the blacklist the Beijing-based group has had a difficult time finding venues to play, going as far as […]

Egypt: Authorities shut down respected art gallery in Cairo

In a move seen by free speech advocates as “a severe blow to freedom of artistic expression and creativity”, the Egyptian authorities have shut down a highly respected art gallery and an affiliated theatre in downtown Cairo. By Shahira Amin, reporting for Freemuse The evening raid on 28 December 2015 on the Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary […]

Iran: Music distributors await appeal decision for six years in prison

Two musicians and a filmmaker who were jointly sentenced to six years in prison and fined 200 million toman (about  USD 66,650) each for “insulting the sacred” and “propaganda against the state,” are awaiting a ruling by a Tehran appeals court, according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Mehdi Rajabian, a musician […]

Sudan/Algeria: authorities ban novels at book fairs

Algeria: Authorities bans 100 books at international book fair 2015 The Algerian Censorship Authority was assigned to review books participating in the Algerian International Book Fair 2015 (29 October to 7 November 2015) and banned more than 100 books. The Censorship Authority stated that the books promote ideas which are “contradicting Algerian Government policy” in […]

Egypt: Censorship Authority stirs controversy over attempted film bans

The Egyptian Censorship Authority has reversed its decision to completely reject the production of a comedy film by actor and screenwriter Tamer Abdel Moneim, El Watan News reported on 4 November 2015. The comedy, which is meant to be a sequel to Abdel Moneim’s 2003 film ‘Al-Meshakhasaty’ (The Master of Disguise), is now a go […]

Lebanon: Play banned after director refuses to make changes

The General Security’s Censorship Bureau on 16 November 2015 banned playwright Lucien Bourjeily’s ‘Beirut Syndrome’ from being performed after he refused to alter sentences in the work, reported The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information. Bourjeily submitted his play for approval on 23 October 2015. After review, the bureau called for the removal of two […]

USA: Convicted Native American activist’s paintings removed from exhibition

Four paintings by Leonard Peltier, a Native American activist who is serving two consecutive life sentences for the deaths of two FBI agents in 1975, will be taken down from an exhibition in Tumwater, Washington, after complaints from an association of retired law enforcement officers. The paintings are being displayed in the lobby of the […]

Myanmar/Burma: Poet arrested for posting ‘defamatory’ poem

According to PEN Myanmar, poet Maung Saung Kha was arrested on 5 November 2015 for defaming the president in a poem he posted on Facebook in early October 2015 in which a line said that he had a portrait of the president tattooed on his penis. The 23-year-old poet published the poem, ‘Image’, on 8 […]

Egypt: Playwright speaks about his trials with censorship

The arts magazine Guernica recently published an interview with Karim Alrawi, an Egyptian playwright and novelist. Though his literary career started in London, he returned to Egypt to teach in the theatre department at the American University in Cairo. During his time teaching at the American University, Alrawi also attempted to put on plays, most […]

Macedonia: Artists falling prey to censorship

Critics claim there is a growing trend in Macedonia that artists who explore controversial issues calling into question the state or church are being censored and are practising self-censorship, Balkan Insight reported. A recent case in 2014 involved an artist, Irena Paskali, who created a billboard asking why so many Macedonians accepted being double-billed for […]

Russia: Art gallery owner evicted

Marat Guelman was handed an eviction notice to clear out of his rented exhibition space in Moscow’s Winzavod art centre by 5 November 2015. He was served the notice on 20 October 2015, just two days after he hosted an auction to help 12 people who were imprisoned for participating in a 2012 protest against […]

Thailand: Banned movie re-cut and on screens

Previously banned, Thai-made horror film ‘Arbat’ is finally on screens as of 16 October 2015 after some of its controversial scenes were cut and the title was changed to ‘Apatti’ to appease a government screening committee decision.   In September 2015, the Ministry of Culture’s Film and Media Screening Committee deemed the movie portrayed monks […]

Iran: 26 popular singers banned from performing

The Iranian Intelligence Ministry banned 26 popular musicians and singers from performing in Iran after their music was aired by networks abroad, IranWire reported, citing an investigative piece from Etemad newspaper published on 19 October 2015. The head of the music department at the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance confirmed that letters were sent […]

Zimbabwe: Visual artist’s new works once again pulled down

Bulawayo-based visual artist, Owen Maseko, has drawn attention from authorities when one of his new displays was pulled down on 30 October 2015 – less than a day after it was unveiled in his ‘Kwacha’ exhibition, reported Bulawayo24 News. In the video below, one can see authorities moving the sculpture from the art gallery and […]

Burundi: Musicians menaced, silenced and fleeing the country

Burundian artists are confronted with ever-shrinking possibilities for open and free political speech. Well-known singers and band members are being targeted and, if possible, manipulated to change their artistic or political style. Several musicians have fled the country. By John Banram, Freemuse correspondent – reporting from Burundi  INSIGHT  Fear of being assassinated is spreading among […]

Turkey: Actor dismissed from theatre over criticism of government

Actor Levent Üzümcü has been dismissed from the İstanbul City Theatre after he was recently referred to the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality’s disciplinary board over a series of statements and speeches he made criticising the government. Üzümcü announced the disciplinary board’s decision to fire him on his Twitter account, writing: “I am very thankful that, as […]

Cuba: Cuban rocker Gorki Aguila arrested

According to Capital Hill Cubans and other sources, Castro regime officials showed up on 5 August 2015 at the home of Cuban rocker Gorki Aguila and arrested him. According to his daughter, Gorki Aguila was given no cause for his arrest Aguila, front-man of the band Porno Para Ricardo, recently authored a song in honor […]

Gambia: Rapper forced to flee after song criticising president goes viral

A few days after Gambian rapper Killa Ace (real name: Ali Cham) released a song critical of the Gambian regime, he started receiving threats that lead him to flee the country. In the song, entitled ‘Ku Boka C Geta G’, Killa Ace speaks against social injustices, oppression, corruption and lack of freedom of expression under […]

Zambia: Singer Pilato detained and prosecuted for song about president

In Zambia, the popular satirical singer Pilato (real name: Chama Fumba) is being prosecuted because of a song he wrote, entitled ‘Alungu Anabwela’. Officials said the song defamed President Edgar Lungu by accusing him of drinking too much and being incompetent. Police said that the song could “provoke public clashes”. Pilato was arrested on 8 […]

Malaysia: Film banned for glorifying communism

An edited version of a controversial 2013 film ‘The New Village’ will remain banned in Malaysia as it “still appears to glorify communism”, the Malaysian Home Ministry said. Set against the backdrop of 1950s British rule in Malaya, The New Village depicts a love story between a village girl and a young communist guerrilla.It also […]

Turkey: Young Kurdish singer imprisoned

Al Jazeera has published a video by a Turkish-Kurdish filmmaker about the Kurdish singer Nûdem Durak. The singer’s future is uncertain, because the Turkish government allegedly has convicted her to 10.5 years imprisonment for “promoting Kurdish propaganda”, according to Al Jazeera. Published on Youtube on 30 April 2015 Maker of the documentary film, Eylem Kaftan, […]

Cuba: Graffiti artist arrested over insulting leaders

Danilo Maldonado, a graffiti artist better known as ‘El Sexto’ (The Sixth), was arrested again on 26 December 2014 while driving two pigs to a Havana park, prior to one of his scheduled visual art performances, reported Capitol Hill Cubans. He is facing three years in prison. The performance allegedly entailed releasing the two pigs […]

After the Charlie Hebdo attack: Critical moment for artistic expression

In light of the events in France in January 2015, where the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo was brutally attacked, numerous articles have been published about artistic expression and arts freedom. Here is a small selection of articles that touch on the issues of artistic freedom of expression. Walking the tightrope between art and politics Cressida […]

Turkey: Charges against musician of insult to prime minister

On 16 January 2015 an investigation was opened against folk music artist Kutsal Evcimen because of insulting the prime minister of the time, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, with the folk song ‘Satın Eşek Sıpaları’ which he sang – and with a short speech he made – during Malatya 11th International Arguvan Folk Music Festival. The Initiative for Free […]

Ukraine: Ban on films featuring Russian actor who supports separatists

Ukraine has banned films and tv-series featuring Russian actor Ivan Okhlobystin, who recently visited the Donbass region controlled by separatists. Ukraine’s expert commission on film exhibition has ruled that exhibition licenses for over 70 films starring Okhlobystin should be revoked, announced Yuri Artemenko, head of the National Council for Television and Radio, on his Facebook […]

South Africa: Call for ban of song allegedly romanticising violence

South Africans discuss whether the song ‘Larney Jou Poes’ by Cape Town band Dookoom is political hip-hop or hate speech: When does an artistic expression of anger become incitement to violence or “romanticising” of imminent violence? ‘Larney Jou Poes’ was published on youtube.com on 15 October 2014. It was viewed more than 50,000 times during […]

Lebanon: Bans film on Iran protest movement

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. General Security is regarded as […]

Belarus: Soccer fans detained for singing song deriding Russian president

A court in the Belarusian capital Minsk has imprisoned eight Ukrainian football fans after they sang an insulting song about Russian president Vladimir Putin. According to police, 41 fans were detained after the Belarus versus Ukraine European Championship qualifier match in the Belarusian city of Borisov on 9 October 2014. Eyewitness accounts in Belarusian papers […]

China: Inflatable frog censored after comparisons to ex-leader

China’s newest celebrity is a large inflatable toad floating in the middle of a Beijing pond, but mentions of the giant frog have disappeared from some of China’s news and social media sites after some netizens pointed out similarities to Jiang Zemin, China’s retired leader. » Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.kmbz.com

Senegal: Rapper faces six months in prison for criticising authorities

On 19 June 2014, at a ceremony in the suburbs of Dakar on the mobilisation against drugs, Fou Malade, one of the rappers from the Y’en a marre movement (‘Enough’s enough’), said aloud to the Senegalese Minister of Interior and to the Director General of Police what everyone thinks quietly. His remarks led him straight […]

China: Government censors exclude artists from Xinjiang Biennale

Ukrainian artist Nikita Kadan is one of 80 artists forced to withdraw from the 2014 Xinjiang Biennale held in the autonomous Chinese region of Xinjiang Uyghur. The artist had been invited to participate and submitted his project ‘Procedure Room’, which pictures police torture in the Ukraine on a set of decorative plates. Nikita Kadan’s project […]

Tajikistan: As Tajik rap gets political, authorities resort to bans and pressure

The mayor of Dushanbe, Tajikistan banned rap and rock music from the capital’s buses, minibuses (marshrutkas), and taxis, suggesting that the genre was “alien to national and universal human values,” earlier this year. The initiative received the full backing from the country’s Minister of Education who stated that tunes which “do not conform to national […]

Nigeria: Popular musician arrested for song against president

A popular musician in Kano, Ahmed Audi Zarewa, has been reportedly arrested by the State Security Service, SSS, for recording a song to protest against President Goodluck Jonathan. The song was said to have been recorded by Ahmed to protest President Jonathan and his entourage’s singing and dancing rally the very morning that more than […]

United Kingdom: Theatre poster censored ‘to avoid offence’

A poster depicting a gagged Prince Charles to promote a controversial new play, ‘King Charles III’, on at Islington’s Almeida Theatre in London, United Kingdom, was censored on the London Underground network. » Source:  www.london24.com » See also:  www.dailymail.co.uk

Australia: Arts minister violates the right to freedom of expression

The Australian arts minister George Brandis has threatened the withdrawal of commonwealth funding for the Sydney Biennale festival for “blackballing” Transfield Holdings after it severed ties with the company because of an artist protest over its contract work on an offshore detention centre, reported The Guardian. The arts minister wrote to the Australia Council, which […]

Egypt: Revolutionary singer stopped from performing

The Egyptian singer Mohamed Mohsen known for his anti-government songs said Saturday that authorities stopped him from performing at an arts festival attended by the country’s interim president and military chief for “security concerns”. Mohsen told The Associated Press he thought officials might “specifically targeted” him over his revolutionary songs or because he participated in […]

India: Film on assassination of former Prime Minister banned

The Punjabi film “Kaum De Heere”, based on events related to assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi has been banned in India, but it shall be released in Australia on 14 March 2014. India’s Central Board of Film Certification had declined to grant requisite certificate to the movie on 29 January 2014. » See […]

Iran: Censorship and controversy mar Fajr Film Festival

The 32nd Fajr International Film Festival in Tehran has been riddled with controversy, including numerous incidences of censorship during the live broadcasts and backlash against two films dealing with the sensitive topics of Ashura and the 2009 elections. The live broadcast of the closing ceremony of the film festival was interrupted by the head of […]

 

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