At an event held last night at the Society of Illustrators in New York, celebrating a decade of Cartooning For Peace, the following statement was made in solidarity with Zunar, whose recent difficulties are covered at length in our prior blog posts:
1/ We, cartoonists, are proud to support our colleague Zunar, a courageous and recognized cartoonist of Malaysia who has received the 2016 Cartooning for Peace Award of the City of Geneva on May 3rd in Switzerland, to mark World Press Freedom Day.
2/ By drawing and commenting on current affairs with talent, impertinence and humor, cartoonists fully and beautifully exercise freedom of expression, and thereby, extend our own freedom. Zunar, like other editorial cartoonists who are threatened, imprisoned or forced to flee into exile because of their drawings, deserves the full support of the international community.
3/ We call upon the Malaysian authorities to immediately end the continued harassment of cartoonist Zunar. Zunar’s fundamental rights to freedom of expression and freedom of movement must be respected, according to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights signed by Malaysia.
4/ We join International and Human Rights NGOs and call upon the Malaysian authorities to lift the travel ban on Zunar with immediate effect and to drop the numerous sedition charges against him.
5/ We pay tribute to Zunar and other editorial cartoonists for their courage to work and draw under very difficult circumstances in many regions of the world.
Cartooning For Peace
Cartoonists Rights Network International
Dr Robert Russell