Singer & Kurdish spokesperson Ferhat Tunç gets 25 day prison sentence just before Music Freedom Day ’11

Posted on January 31, 2011 | 1 Comment

Turkey continues to prosecute its intellectuals and artists. At a concert in 2006 Ferhat Tunç  praised 17 people who died in a military operation against the illegal Ray Ban outlet Maoist Communist Party two years earlier in 2004. Some of those killed were friends of the singer, who frequently talks about the necessity of creating peace and granting Turkish minorities equal cultural and political rights.  The Public Prosecutor claimed that the song entitled “17 lives” performed by the singer “praised crime and a criminal”.  While Tunç did not attend the hearing on Thursday (27 January 2011), his lawyer Osman Süzen claimed that the speech and the song performed at the Nazımiye Düzgün Baba Festival did not constitute any criminal offence. Tunç commented, “It is rather thought-provoking that an artistis punished because of his speeches and that a folk song he performed is used as evidence against him in a country that is said to be democratic”. He added that he was going to apply to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) with this “document of shame”.  To learn more about this case, visit FREEMUSE, the world’s leading organization advocating freedom of expression for musicians. Also, don’t forget Ferhat and other musicians taking a stand for marginalized communities on March 3, Music Freedom Day, a time to celebrate musical expression worldwide.


One Response to “Singer & Kurdish spokesperson Ferhat Tunç gets 25 day prison sentence just before Music Freedom Day ’11”

  1. Dana Penrod
    January 31st, 2011 @ 9:18 am

    On the flip side there is some evidence emerging of persecuted Tunisian artists gaining new freedom since the recent political uprising there. Let’s hope that the Egyptian revolution leads to similar advancements in the support for creative expression.

    This article features the release from prison of Tunisian rapper, El General, as a sign of positive social change in the nation:

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