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Music switched off across the region

After 2017’s spate of musicians imprisoned for terror offences in Spain (1st quartile), rapper Valtònyc was handed a three-and-a-half year jail sentence, confirmed by the Supreme Court in January, for glorifying terrorism and insulting the crown.[1] Rapper Pablo Hasél received a conviction on the same charges, facing nearly three years in prison and a large fine.[2] Demonstrators protested these convictions across the country in February.[3]

Spain is not alone; in the UK, five members of the group 1011 were banned from making drill music (a subgenre of hip-hop), with a judge ruling in June that the police must be notified in advance of any new music or performances by the group.[4]

In Russia (4th quartile), rapper Husky faced two weeks in prison after an unauthorised performance on top of a car in November, having been told he was banned from performing due to the ‘extremist’ nature of his songs.[5] In the same month, a judge in Turkey cleared hip-hop artist Ezhel of ‘encouraging drug use’ on the grounds that she considered his music to be a work of art.[6]

 

[1] Tremending, ‘Las redes cargan contra la condena a Valtonyc: “En España vas a la cárcel por escribir una canción pero no por saquear los bancos”’, Público, 20 February 2018, available at http://www.publico.es/tremending/2018/02/20/las-redes-cargan-contra-la-condena-a-valtonyc-en-espana-vas-a-la-carcel-por-escribir-una-cancion-pero-no-por-saquear-los-bancos/

[2] Fernando J. Pérez, ‘Second Spanish rapper sentenced to prison for praising terrorism’, El Pais, 2 March 2018, available at https://elpais.com/elpais/2018/03/02/inenglish/1519998382_971403.html

[3] Publico, ‘Protestas en diez países por el “jaque a la libertad de expresión” en España’, 7 February 2018, available at http://www.publico.es/sociedad/protestas-medio-mundo-jaque-libertad-expresion-espana.html

[4] Ian Cobain, ‘London drill rap group banned from making music due to threat of violence’, The Guardian, 15 June 2018, available at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jun/15/london-drill-rap-gang-banned-from-making-music-due-to-threat-of-violence

[5] The Moscow Times, ‘Russian rapper Husky detained after police raid on concert’, 22 November 2018, available at https://themoscowtimes.com/news/russian-rapper-husky-detained-after-police-raid-concert-63571

[6] P24 Platform for Independent Journalism, Hip Hop Artist Ezhel Acquitted and Freed, 19 June 2018, available at http://platform24.org/en/articles/660/hip-hop-artist-ezhel-acquitted-and-freed

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