All posts by ACAR

Iran: Hossein Mohammadi, Theatre Actor, Sentenced to Death

Mohammadi, 26, was arrested on Nov. 5, 2022, and has been sentenced to execution by the court of the city of Karaj, along with four other protesters. He is accused of taking part in the murder of a member of the Basij militia. The execution of the death sentence is imminent.

Sources: reddit.comtwittertwitter (2), nachtkritik.de

Update: We publish a – surely not complete – list with Iranian theatre artists who have been or where arrested or sentenced because of their participation in the political protests since October 2022 (current status December 19, 2022). The list is regularly updated and can be downloaded here.

Iran: Death Penalties and Arrests for Protesters

Since the outbreak of protests in Iran in September that have developed into a revolution against the political regime, protesters and those in solidarity with the protests have been persecuted and repressed with increasing use of police and military means. Among the fatalities of armed repression were many women and children. Now, at least 21 people are currently facing the death penalty, and the first executions have already been carried out. Amnesty International issued a detailed analysis about the cases. 

For weeks, a large group of Iranian theater makers has been trying to publish a manifesto in Iran and abroad. This attempt failed when a few days before the publication the Iranian secret service called some of the activists and threatened them with concrete references to individual passages of the text. The pressure meant that the joint manifesto could not be adopted, but some of the authors published parts of it on private social media sites. The result was interrogation and the confiscation of private cell phones and computers. To make a statement against these repressions and to support the protest movement, Soheila Golestani and Hamid Pourazari published a video on Instagram: a street performance in which all women appear without head coverings. The text for it says, among other things, that “the truth will come out and this performance will take place”. The day after the video was released, Soheila Golestani and Hamid Pourazari were arrested and have since been held in Tehran’s Evin Prison.

Update (December 12, 2022): The previously pasted Instagram post has been depublished. 

DEATH PENALTY SOUGHT IN SHAM TRIALS Amnesty International  Report / November 16

Connecting the Dots: Artist Protection & Artistic Freedom in Asia

 PEN America’s Artists at Risk Connection (ARC), in partnership with the Mekong Cultural Hub (MCH) and the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM ASIA) have released a publication, which captures growing anxiety among artists and creative practitioners across South, Southeast, East, and Central Asia.

Connecting the Dots explores questions that are critical to understanding the state of artistic freedom in Asia, through the lens of 25 artists, creative practitioners, human rights defenders, lawyers and other stakeholders coming from 19 countries in South, Southeast, East, and Central Asia. It presents key discussions, findings, and recommendations from a closed virtual workshop convened in November 2021 and shares powerful anecdotal references from the participants, including a Uyghur musician and activist, a Vietnamese filmmaker, and a Myanmar artist – whose identities are kept confidential for security reasons.

Source: Artists at Risk Connection  

UN Report: Development and Cultural Rights: The Principle

The latest annual report of the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights,  Alexandra  Xanthaki, has been published. The report will be presented to UN General Assembly on 20 October, tentatively at 11:00 am, New York time (5 pm CET). All who wish to follow the interactive dialogue live can do so by accessing the webcast through this link: http://webtv.un.org/live/

The Special Rapporteur addresses in this report the role of culture in sustainable development, including the cultures of development, with a view to assessing how cultural diversity and cultural rights have been mainstreamed in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development so far and to highlighting areas where increased cultural awareness may contribute to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals during the second half of the implementation timeline of the 2030 Agenda.

The report is available in 6 UN languages.

 

Guidelines on EU Competition Law for Solo-Self Employed Persons

On September 29, the European Commission has adopted its guidelines on how EU competition law applies to collective agreements on working conditions for solo self-employed workers. The guidelines set out the conditions under which certain self-employed workers can join together to bargain collectively without breaching EU competition rules.

With the guidelines, the EU Commission has made it possible for solo self-employed workers to be represented by trade unions with immediate effect in order to negotiate their own collective agreements.

In the field of performing arts, this applies to solo independent artists who reinforce the existing ensemble, such as opera singers, and production teams, such as directors, stage costume designers and choreographers. At the theater, many so-called guests work on service and work contracts. This puts them in a particularly unprotected position, so that contracts could be dictated to them individually and unilaterally by the theaters.

Guidelines (all languages)