Artist: Jason Suisui
Date of Action: June 22, 2023
Location: Papua New Guinea
Confronting Bodies: Papua New Guinea's chief censor, Office of Censorship
Description of Artwork: Papaua New Guinea's chief censor, Jim Albani, has described the offending content in Jayrex's music as essentially triggering in nature, saying: "It has been brought to the Censorship Office's [attention] that Jason Suisui composed publications (songs) causing emotional and psychological issues to a person or certain class or persons, to or from whom, it is published or is intended to be published."
The Incident: New Ireland reggae singer Jason Suisui — also known by his stage name, Jayrex — has had a temporary ban placed on his music. Suisui is currently serving a six-month jail sentence for intimate partner violence. According to the chief censor, the temporary ban on his music aims to help prevent gender-based violence in Papua New Guinea. In a country where over two thirds of women and girls experience violence at the hands of a family member or intimate partner, the issue is particularly sensitive. Regarding the censorship of Suisui's music, Albani says: "That's why we made that decision, to take measures to reduce the violence."
Results of Incident: The ban on Suisui's music is temporary and could be lifted at any time. Albani and his office are still investigating the matter. It is unclear which songs or lyrics in particular prompted the Office of Censorship to begin their investigation. "We have not received any lyrics from Jayrex or the complainant [from] the song in particular that was demeaning," Albani explains.
"The complainant has pointed out that some of the songs that have been composed are about her, but we have not received the title of the song [or] confirmed with Jayrex that it was for her."
"It could be his friend's idea to write [the song], so these are some of the things we need to check and balance before we make a decision."
According to the chief censor, a final decision will be made once the complainant confirms which song or lyrics were traumatizing.