Patrick Gathara is an editorial cartoonist currently with the Daily Nation, East Africa’s largest daily newspaper. He has been working as a professional cartoonist in Kenya for 20 years and was the General Secretary of the Association of East African Cartoonists for nearly a decade starting in 2001. He has published several collections of Kenyan cartoons as well as a study on the history and impact of political cartooning in Kenya.
Cynthia P. Schneider, Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University, teaches, publishes, and organizes initiatives in the field of cultural diplomacy, with a focus on relations with the Muslim world. Ambassador Schneider co-directs the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics at Georgetown, as well as the Los Angeles-based MOST Resource (Muslims on Screen and Television). Additionally, she co-directs the Timbuktu Renaissance, which grew out of her work leading the Arts and Culture Dialogue Initiative within Brookings’ Center for Middle East Policy. From 1998-2001 she served as U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands, during which time she led initiatives in cultural diplomacy, biotechnology, cyber security, and education. From 1984-1998 Prof. Schneider taught art history at Georgetown, and published on seventeenth century Dutch art. Dr. Schneider has a PhD and BA from Harvard University.
In his July 3rd cartoon for the Jakarta Post, Stephff (Stefane Peray) depicted an ISIS operative hoisting an ISIS flag on which the flag’s design morphs into a skull and crossbones. On December 12th, five months later, police announced that Jakarta Post editor Meidyatama Suryodiningrat could be charged under Indonesia’s much-criticized blasphemy laws because of the publication of that cartoon. [full story]
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]