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The State of Artistic Freedom 2019 – Introductory Remarks

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Published on Mar 27, 2019

Welcome/Introductory Remarks by:
• Knut Olav Åmås, Executive Director, The Fritt Ord Foundation
• Marianne Hagen, State Secretary, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
• Karima Bennoune, UN Special Rapporteur (video message)
• John Peder Egenæs, Director, Amnesty International Norway
• Maria Arnquist, Program Officer, Sida


About the event:
On Tuesday 26 March 2019 Freemuse and The Fritt Ord Foundation hosted the launch of the new report “The State of Artistic Freedom 2019 – Whose Narratives Count?”

The State of Artistic Freedom 2019 is an analysis of 673 cases of violations of artistic freedom that occurred in different cultural spheres in 80 countries throughout 2018.

The report identifies key challenges for artists’ freedom of expression and points out violation patterns and trends. In addition, it provides analysis of legal, political and social developments occurring in different countries that have significantly impacted the state of artistic freedom and creativity.

Key findings include:
- 19 artists were sentenced to jailor imprisoned using counter-terrorism legislation in four countries: Spain, Turkey, Israel and Egypt.

- Four artists were killed: two in Pakistan, one in Brazil and one in Bangladesh. A further 14 artists were attacked.

- Musicians targeted: 2 killed, 16 prosecuted, 36 imprisoned, 24 detained, 6 attacked, 31 persecuted, 44 sanctioned/fined, 14 received threats or were harassed.

- Censorship was practiced in at least 60 countries, affecting 1,807 artists and artworks.

- The top reason artists were targeted was for expressing political opinions in their country, mainly for being critical of governments.

- There were 70 documented cases of silencing that involve the theatre in 2018.

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