Vietnam: Musician released early after serving full six-year prison sentence

Authorities in Vietnam have released musician Hoang Nhat Thong (real name: Tran Vu Anh Binh) from prison on 21 May 2017, four months before serving out his full six-year prison sentence, reported Radio Free Asia on 22 May 2017. “I feel elated, but now I am like a fish that has been on the shore […]

INSIGHT 2016 publication: Targeting the arts

» Read on Targeting the arts INSIGHT articles about controversies and conflicts over art in 2016 Documenting incidents of censorship will never be enough. From the very beginning, Freemuse has attempted to describe censorship of music and arts in a larger context. In 2015 we introduced INSIGHT – a series of articles providing readers with […]

Six countries ban ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ film

Countries that often object to sexual content – Malaysia, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Kenya and India – have banned ‘Fifty Shades’ from cinema theatres. Authorities in Russia’s North Caucasus have also banned the film. In Malaysia, the head of the film censorship board called it “more pornography than a movie”, according to Hollywood trade publication Variety. The […]

Vietnam: Shifting tensions in Vietnamese contemporary art

An article by Art Radar highlights how Vietnam’s blossoming contemporary art scene is held in check through a complex set of bureaucratic hurdles coupled with hit-and-miss government censorship and lack of critical infrastructure funding, at a time when it should be enriching, not sabotaging this shining asset. Licenses are needed to display any type of […]

Vietnam: The new censors of Hanoi

In an article in The New York Times journalist Nguyen Qui Duc who also runs the alternative-art space Tadioto in Hanoi reflects on the censorship mechanisms of art in Vietnam during the communist area and today. According to Duc, market-driven concerns may be hampering artists in Vietnam more than censorship did under classically communist governments. […]

Vietnam: Two writers released on amnesty, one remains imprisoned

PEN International reported that the two writers and activists Dinh Dang Dinh and Nguyen Huu Cau were released under an amnesty, while poet, essayist and scholar Nguyen Van Ly remains imprisoned. Writer and activist Nguyen Huu Cau and blogger and environmental activist Dinh Dang Dinh were released from prison on 21 March 2014 under an […]

Artist Alert: November 2013 | Article 19

Newsletter from Article 19, published on on 5 December 2013: Art, in any form, constitutes a key medium through which information and ideas are imparted and received. Artist Alert, launched by ARTICLE 19 in 2008, highlights cases of artists around the world whose right to freedom of expression has been curtailed and abused, and […]

Vietnam: UN call for greater freedom of expression

The UN’s Special Rapporteur on cultural rights Farida Shaheed says it’s time for the Vietnamese government to ensure better freedom of expression in order to prevent artists from being arbitrarily punished, harassed or detained. The UN human rights expert has just returned from a fact-finding visit to Vietnam where she met with government officials and […]

Vietnam: Musician fined for publishing CD with “depraved contents”

Ngọc Đại, a prominent experimental musician, was fined 30 million dong (app. US$ 1,500) for publishing and distributing his latest album without permission to do so. 1,000 copies of the album were printed, and almost sold out, before authorities reacted. It features lyrics by poets Bui Chat and Nguyen Dinh Chinh who allegedly are banned […]

Artist Alert: June 2013 | Article 19

Newsletter from Article 19, published at on 17 July 2013: Art, in any form, constitutes a key medium through which information and ideas are imparted and received. Artist Alert, launched by ARTICLE 19 in 2008, highlights cases of artists around the world whose right to freedom of expression has been curtailed and abused, and […]

Vietnam: Film censorship upsets and confuses film producers

Producing movies on a big budget in Vietnam is risky because the regulations on censorship are general and vague. Vietnamese film makers keep feeling the “fear” of the censorship scissors, reported VietNamNet Bridge. The movie ‘Cho Lon’s Gangsters’ was suspended and may be banned from screening in local cinemas if the producers do not make […]

Vietnam: Fears for the health of imprisoned writer

 RAPID ACTION NETWORK • 28 March 2013  PEN International is seriously concerned for the health of writer and activist Nguyen Huu Cau, who is seriously ill and denied adequate medical care in the prison camp where he is serving a life-time sentence for his critical writings. PEN International protests his imprisonment, and demands his immediate […]

Freemuse sends appeal letter to the president of Vietnam

Email from: Freemuse Sent: 5 November 2012 13:13 To: Embassy of Vietnam in Denmark Subject: Freemuse appeal – Att: The Ambassador Priority: High Dear Ambassador, Freemuse is an international organisation with special consultative status to the UN. Please find attached an appeal from Freemuse regarding the imprisonment of two singers in your country. We request […]

Vietnam: Two musicians sentenced to four and six years in prison

A Vietnamese court convicted two renowned musicians to four and six years imprisonment for anti-state propaganda and links to a banned political group, one of their lawyers said on 30 October 2012. Viet Khang, 34, (real name: Vo Minh Tri) was given a four-year prison term while Hoang Nhat Thong, 37, (real name: Tran Vu […]

Vietnam: Ministry of Culture temporarily banned two singers

Two vietnamese singers, Tan and Tho, were temporarily banned from performing in any domestic or international events after they had abandoned a performance at a diplomatic show celebrating the signing of a friendship treaty between Vietnam and Laos. The singers Trong Tan and Anh Tho “must be disciplined for what they’ve done to ensure fairness […]

Vietnam: Poets persecuted by police

When poet Bùi Chát came back from Buenos Aires in April of 2010, where he had received the International Publishers Association’s prize Freedom to Publish, he was greeted at the airport in Saigon by the domestic police, who not only confiscated the prize money and Chát’s computer (throughout the years he has had three computers […]



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