The Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Alexandra Xanthaki, has published a series of 14 Questions & Answers, following an interaction with the International Olympic Committee after the recommendation of the IOC Executive Board, on 28 February 2022, to exclude all Russian and Belarusian athletes from sports events.
The concern of the Special Rapporteur on the exclusion of Russian and Belarusian athletes includes a “wider concern of on-going unnecessary exclusions of Russian and Belarusian people from participating in cultural life. Artists too have been excluded from cultural events, festivals and other platforms based on their nationality and their artistic freedom tightened.”
In her thematic report the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Alexandra Xanthaki, underlines the rights of migrants to have access to and effectively participate in all aspects of cultural lives, both of the host State and their own cultures: “Migration enables individuals, both migrants and the host population, to reevaluate their cultural frameworks and be positively influenced by other ideas, values and practices. In that process, States must be aware of the vulnerabilities of migrants and take measures to enable them to enjoy their cultural rights, irrespective of their status.”
Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI), founded 2005 in Iran, is a NGO which aims to promote, safeguard and sustain human rights in Iran. Since 2010 HRAI is registered as non-profit organization in the U.S.
The 62 pages report, published December 26, is based on 1.3342 cases, gathered from 267 news sources during 2022 [January 1st to December 20th]. 55% of reports analysed came from sources gathered and reported by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), HRAI’s press association. 13% came from official Iranian government sources or sources close to the government. 32% of reports came from other human rights news agencies. The report has 13 chapters on different fields of Human Rights, as ethnic and religious rights, education, work and trade unions, children, women, gender and sexual minorities. The cases are also sorted by months and regions.
The chapter on violation of cultural rights reports 17 cases. This included reports of 7 arrests, 27 individuals summoned to judicial and security organizations, 4 trials held, 1 house search, 4 cases of obstruction and interference with publications, 1 case of stopping an event and speech, 2 cases of confiscation of property and belongings. In this category, arrests have increased by 16% compared to the previous year.
6.311 reports of violations against freedom of thought and expression have been registered. These violations included 2.2655 individuals arrested.
The HRW World report looks at the state of human rights and covers nearly 100 countries. Besides the crises arise and authoritarian governments deepen their assault on human rights, HRW’s Acting Executive Director Tirana Hassan writes that 2022 revealed a “fundamental shift in power in the world that opens the way for all concerned governments to push back against…abuses by protecting and strengthening the global human rights system.”
The 712-page world report can be downloaded in total or browsed by country at the HRW website.
Artists at Risk Connection in partnership with regional and global networks continues regional reports on artistic freedom, based on closed workshops with artists, human rights defenders, and cultural practitioners from the respective region. After Connecting the Dots(Asian region) now Art in Turmoil: Artistic Freedom and Human Rights in Latin America and the Caribbean has been released, with Amnesty International and Labo Ciudadano.
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 Dotsexplores 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.