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France: Congolese musicians’ shows cancelled

14 September 2017
On 15 July 2017, Paris police cancelled a concert by Congolese musician Héritier Watanabe after the venue received multiple threats of "a new Bataclan".
Photo: Hériter Watanabe/Facebook

 

On 15 July 2017, Paris police cancelled a concert by Héritier Watanabe, a musician from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), after venue Olympia repeatedly requested police ban the show after it received frequent threats, reported Le Point.

The venue had been receiving multiple threats via several different channels from people vowing to commit “a new Bataclan” if the concert went on. Hours before the concert, police banned any public demonstration around the venue with the intent of letting the concert go on. However, the measure was not enough because demonstrations still ensued and police ultimately cancelled the show.

Fally Ipupa, another DRC musician, also had his concert cancelled by police due to threats and demonstrations on 20 June 2017 in Paris, for the show he was due to perform two days later, venue La Cigale said in a statement. In 2016, Ipupa had another show cancelled in Belgium for the same reasons.

Many Congolese musicians have experienced similar events due to violent altercations and demonstrations around their shows caused by the diaspora opposing the current DRC political regime. Many believe that these artists distract the youth’s focus from the violence in their home country, or that the artists themselves are pro-regime as they have played for current DRC president Joseph Kabila.

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