The non-governmental organization ‘Freedom of musical expression’, Freemuse, has published its latest figures on the persecution of artists around the world. In 2016, Freemuse registered 1,028 attacks on artists and violations of their rights across 78 countries. The number of cases registered in 2016 more than doubled the amount in 2015, Fremuse says: « Of those more than one thousand cases, Freemuse documented 188 total serious violations of artistic freedom and 840 acts of censorship. »

According to the organization in 2016, Iran was the worst violating country for serious violations on artistic freedom of expression with 30 registered cases, including an attack on one artist, the imprisonment of 19 artists, prosecution of six others, and persecution of or threat to four artists. Following Iran, were Turkey, Egypt, Nigeria, China, Russia, Malaysia, Syria, Tanzania and Uzbekistan as the worst violators committing serious violations on artistic freedom, which combined accounted for 126 of the 188 serious violations in 2016, or 67% of total serious violations.

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