In the United States the public is involved in a deeply impassioned and important dialogue about weaknesses in our system of justice. In recent weeks incidents involving young black men killed in confrontations with officers from their local police departments have weighed on the nation’s conscience. In all of these situations the public has perceived that unnecessary, excessive force and a rush to judgment was used by police in situations that resulted in the death of unarmed and possibly innocent young men. In two of these cases the local prosecutor’s offices refused to indict the police officers of any kind of a crime. In one case the coroner ruled that the young man’s death was clearly a homicide. (full story)
The Malaysian government has expanded its efforts to silence Kuala Lumpur-based cartoonist Zunar. On November 20, Zunar wrote “Today I was questioned for about 45 minutes by the police regarding my new cartoon book, Komplot Penjarakan Anwar (Plot to Jail Anwar) at the Dang Wangi Police Station in Kuala Lumpur. I was investigated under the ‘Classified Crime Section’ involving three different laws. The laws are: (A) Printing Presses and Publications Act, (B) Sedition Act, (B) Penal Code. Two separate police reports were made against me in two different police stations regarding the production of the book. Throughout the investigation session, I refused to answer any of the 27 questions asked by the police. In the latest development, the police have asked the online payment gateway that handles my book transactions to disclose the list of customers who have purchased my books through my official website, zunar.my.” [ full story ]
Meanwhile, Turkish cartoonist Musa Kart was found not guilty of “insulting through publication and slander” Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a cartoon published in the daily Cumhuriyet on February 1, 2014.
These latest incidents involving Zunar and Musa Kart, both past recipients of CRNI’s Courage Award (in 2011 and 2005, respectively) illustrate the endless cycle of charges and intimidation faced even by prominent cartoonists who have successfully defended their rights … [full story: Zunar] [full story: Musa Kart]
Ms. Mishra delivered her acceptance remarks in person, while the remarks from Ms. Shaheen, who for reasons of personal safety was not able to attend, were read aloud by American cartoonist and Pulitzer Prize winner Ann Telnaes. [full story]
Rayma has been in trouble with authorities before for cartoons satirizing the Venezuelan leadership, which has become known for its punitive reactions to any kind of criticism from the media. [full story]
The jihadist militant group ISIS has pronounced a death sentence for Kuwati-born comic book innovator Naif Al-Mutawa via Twitter, according to the website arabianbusiness.com
Dr. Al-Mutawa, whose groundbreaking comic “THE 99” has sought to give the Muslim community its own superheroes while at the same time fostering a greater, more positive understanding of Islam among non-Muslim readers, is no stranger to criticism. Though he created THE 99 — whose gaggle of protagonists are each inspired by one of the 99 attributes of Allah as delineated in the Quran — in consultation with Sharia scholars, [full story]