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Nigeria: Musicians Under Threat, Says Freemuse

In Nigeria, once considered Africa's musical leader, the story of growing musical censorship is a mirror to the country's widening political faultlines, according to a new report by FreeMuse, the
international free-expression advocate for musicians.
"Which way Nigeria? - Music under Threat: A Question of Money, Morality, Self-Censorship and the Sharia" is based on an investigation carried out in May and June 2002 to examine the state of musical free expression.

"New churches and religious currents have capitalized on political and economic disillusionment, and plunged into fundamentalist interpretations verging on irrationality that now threaten individual
freedom," writes author Jean-Christophe Servant.
The report deals with direct acts of censorship which have affected such musicians as Femi Kuti and Hausa artists Alhaji Sirajo Mai Asharalle and Haladji Waba Yarim Asharalle (for disrespect of the Sharia Law). Besides these acts, the report reveals the persistence of self-censorship throughout the music industry and the role of "payola" and other means of economic pressure, which indirectly affect freedom of expression.

The full report is available online in English and French at
http://www.freemuse.org/03libra/countries/nigeria/texts/readreport29042003.html

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