Freemuse registered 1,028 attacks on artists and violations of their rights in 2016 across 78 countries, continuing a worrying trend of artistic freedom increasingly coming under threat. The number of cases registered in 2016 more than doubled the amount in 2015, increasing by 119%, rising from 469 attacks. Of those more than one thousand cases, Freemuse documented 188 total serious violations of artistic freedom and 840 acts of censorship.
In 2016, Iran was the worst violating country for serious violations on artistic freedom of expression with 30 registered cases, including an attack on one artist, the imprisonment of 19 artists, prosecution of six others, and persecution of or threat to four artists. Thus, Iran continues to be one of the worst violators since Freemuse began documenting artistic freedom violations in 2012. Iran also ranked tenth for worst country practicing censorship with nine registered cases.
Following Iran, were Turkey, Egypt, Nigeria, China, Russia, Malaysia, Syria, Tanzania and Uzbekistan as the worst violators committing serious violations on artistic freedom, which combined accounted for 126 of the 188 serious violations in 2016, or 67% of total serious violations.
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See Also: Art Under Threat in 2015 Report