16/09/2015The Case of Ramy Essam & International Mobility Issues

Born out of the very first World Conference on Music and censorship back in 1998, Freemuse, "an independent international membership organisation advocating and defending freedom of expression" in music across the globe, continues to play a major role in exposing worldwide inequalities. Personally, we've been supporting and following their activities for quite some time now and receive regular updates via their highly informative newsletter.

For example, earlier this month, we were surprised to read that Egypt's award-winning singer Ramy Essam, best known for his appearances on Tahrir Square in 2011, was denied a UK entry visa to play at the human rights oriented Festival 800.

While Freemuse called for a reappraisal and Essam was later granted a visa after all, Freemuse Executive Director Ole Reitov continued to make a valid point: “This is a very positive development, and a clever decision. Freemuse and Ramy Essam are grateful for all support we got in this case. It also clearly shows how difficult visa procedures continue to be for artists coming from abroad.”

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom