Mr. Ole Reitov, program manager of Freemuse – The World Forum On music & Censorship and consultant to the UN Human Rights Council for the 2013 report on the right to artistic expression and creation:
The issue of artistic freedom is crucial to any nation. It is not ‘just’ about the artists’ rights to express themselves freely, it is also a question of the rights of citizens to access artistic expressions and take part in cultural life — and thus one of the key issues for democracy.
The protection of artistic expression is just as important for the development of democracy as the protection of media workers. It is frequently artists who — through music, visual arts or films — put the ‘needle in the eye’ and strike a chord with millions of people, some of them unable to read and with no access to express themselves.
Here is the report as a pdf (via artsfreedom)