President of the Egyptian Musicians’ Union Hany Shaker has once more made the headlines by depriving several of his members of the right to perform their art, judged to be incompatible with public morals.
In 2016, the same Shaker had already excluded six women musicians accused of wearing indecent clothing and performing lascivious poses during their stage performances. This time, it is a style of music which has come under fire, a style that is increasingly popular in the country: the mahraganat, an electric folk music which, to begin with, originated in the poorest districts.
Mr Shaker’s organisation, which pretends to be a “union”, has threatened legal proceedings against establishments which violate its decision to ban mahraganat from Egypt’s music landscape.
Hany Shaker’s decision violates both the right to freedom of expression and labour rights
As a signatory of ILO core conventions, Egypt is supposed to guarantee the right of workers to organise in unions which are bound to protect their members from any attack against such right.
Hany Shaker’s decision violates both the right to freedom of expression and labour rights. In this aspect, it is contrary to the most fundamental principles of the international labour movement and contravenes the obligations resulting from conventions ratified by Egypt.
As it did in 2016 for similar events, FIM firmly condemns Mr. Shaker’s decision. It urges the Egyptian Musicians’ Union and its members to disassociate themselves from this decision and express their support for the musicians in question.
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