In Turkey, rapper Şehinşah was recently detained by local authorities for allegedly insulting the president in two of his songs. Şehinşah wrote on his Twitter account: “On my way home, I was detained at the airport for insulting the President. I am in detention again.”
In another tweet Şehinşah describes his frustration over these continuous detentions and promises to soon release a protest song.
According to the State of Artistic Freedom 2021, published by Freemuse, several artists have been oppressed and attacked by Turkish authorities and “experienced legal prosecution under Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code (Insulting the President of the Republic) and also the 1991 Anti-Terror Law (no. 3713/TMK). Both laws have been used to legitimise state repression against opposing ideas and individuals.”
According to an article by Freemuse, Tunisian artist, Noamane Chaari, has received threats to his life, been fired from his job and suspended from his participation in the Tunisian Artists’ Union after publishing a music video where he collaborates with Israeli artist Ziv Yehezkel.
The music video, which can be seen below, offended Tunisian journalists, activists and others and some people called for him to be prosecuted. The music video has Arabic and English lyrics included and reading through the words it is clear that this song is nothing but peaceful.
Daily Sun reports that Tibetan singer Lhundrub Drakpa has been arbitrarily held in detention for over a year. He was arrested only two months after the release of his song ‘Black Hat’. Now Chinese authorities have sentenced Lhundrub to 6 years in prison for criticizing China’s policies in Tibet with his song.
Our colleagues in Freemusereport that in 2019 they witnessed “a clampdown on artists and other citizens who questioned Beijing’s dominant celebratory narrative”.