The Danish non-governmental organization, Free Muse, focuses on artistic freedom around the world and has released its 2019 report "The State of Artistic Freedom 2019" revealing that, "[a]t least 157 artists were imprisoned or detained in 29 countries. Spain, Turkey and Russia jailed the highest number of artists in the Global North, while China, Egypt, Iran and Cuba jailed the highest number of artists in the Global South. Free Muse detailed those with highest numbers of arrests. In 2018 there were "97 artists detained in 25 countries, including: 20 in Turkey, 19 in Cuba, 11 in Russia, 9 in Egypt, 6 in China."
|Maykel Castillo Pérez: Artist sentenced to 1 year 6 months in prison|
Decree 349, was made public last summer and went into effect on 7 December. It criminalizes independent cultural activity that is not authorized by the state. It entails the creation of a cadre of roving inspectors that will be empowered to shut down activities in private recording studios, home-based galleries and clubs. Sanctions range from stiff fines to confiscation of privately-owned equipment to the seizure of homes. Artists on the island see the law as a return to the repressive cultural policies of the 1970s. Before it became law, Amnesty International called Decree 349 a ‘dystopian prospect’ for Cuba’s artists.In September of 2018 Cuban rapper Maykel Castillo Pérez, "El Osokbo" protested against Decree 349/2018 during a show in Cuba. Three days after the concert, he was detained by the Cuban secret police, and remained jailed. On March 20, 2019 Maykel was sentenced to one year six months in prison, and learned of his sentence on April 22, 2019.
On May 6, 2019 the General Secretary of the OAS and the US Ambassador to the OAS hosted at the Organization of American States an event which was streamed live in both Spanish and English on the lack of artistic freedom in Cuba with independent journalists and independent artists from the island presenting their testimony.EN VIVO 🔴 | Secretaría General de la #OEA y @USAmbOAS acogen diálogo sobre libertad artística en #Cuba— OEA (@OEA_oficial) May 6, 2019
📺 https://t.co/MtjPQ6GHxW pic.twitter.com/00he0YqmAQ
Hopefully, they will be able to return to Cuba without joining the long list of arbitrarily detained artists.