Governments have introduced drastic measures against the COVID-19 outbreak, suspending many fundamental freedoms and rights until further notice.
This discussion, originally planned for the IETM Plenary Meeting in Tromsø, took place as an interactive webinar on 24 April with Sara Whyatt, researcher on freedom of artistic expression and human rights, UK, Sina Saberi, Kakeshan, Iran, Israel Aloni, Ildance, Sweden/Australia, Salil Tripathi, Writer, Chair: Writers in Prison Committee, PEN International, India/USA. Moderator: Pelin Başaran, Siyah Bant, UK/Turkey.
Horizons threaten to close for international artistic mobility: On Monday, April 20, President Trump tweeted that he intends to suspend legal immigration to the U.S. indefinitely.
Although they are part of Schengen Territory, Czech Republic’s President Milos Zeman has suggested that all borders of the country should remain sealed off for a year, in order to prevent another surge of infections in the country. The Czech Republic has all air border controls in place as well as land border controls with Austria and Germany, set to expire on April 24, 2020.
To celebrate World Art Day 2020 (April 15), Freemuse is launching the State of Artistic Freedom Report and discuss the current state for arts and culture in 2020. The digital seminar live stream will be available at YouTube (9 am – 10:45 am CET). You may live join the live discussion on Twitter at #artisticfreedomSAF20
“This report shows that the west is losing its leading position as human rights and freedom defenders at a fast pace, while the world grows intolerant and violent against non-mainstream views and expression” (Srirak Plipat, Freemuse Executive Director).
After the launch the Report will be available for download on Freemuse.org.
The 2020 reports of the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Karima Bennoune, to the Human Rights Council have been published. The Special Rapporteur will be presenting these reports to the Council on Tuesday, 3 March, tentatively at 16:00, Geneva time. The presentation will be available as live-webcast at the UN- website.
Assorted Country reports and special reports (conflict and post-conflict situations and communications with governments) are available on the website of the 43rd session of the HRC (scroll down to A/HRC/43/50/Add.1 ff)
Source: SR Cultural Rights OHCHR mailout 02/25/2020
Today a Turkish court acquitted Osman Kavala and other defendants – amongst them the theatre artists Ayşe Pınar Alabora and Memet Ali Alaborafollowing – following a controversial trial over the anti-government “Gezi Park” protests of 2013. Kavala and two other defendants had been facing life sentences without parole. Kavala, founder of Anadolu Kultur, was arrested in Istanbul on 18 October 2017 (see ACAR posts Nov. 21, 2017 and Nov 2, 2018), followed by a wave of solidarity from artists and human rights activists. In December, the European Court of Human Rights called for his immediate release, saying there was a lack of reasonable suspicion that he had committed an offence.
Only few hours later Istanbul prosecutors have issued a new arrest warrantfor Osman Kavala for his alleged ties to a failed 2016 coup.
At the European Parliament in Brussels, on January 21st, Freemuse in collaboration with Culture Action Europe is launching its first European report on the state of artistic freedom. The report first of its kind, outlines the emerging trends found to be particularly challenging in Europe in relation to freedom of artistic expression. Freemuse has documented 380 cases of violations to the right of freedom of artistic expression in Europe from January 2018 until October 2019. At the launch, concrete actions and recommendations will be proposed to the European Parliament ensuring that the right to artistic expression is not only better protected but also crucially better promoted across the continent.