“Meisam” formerly worked as a cartoonist for conservative Iranian publications.
Meisam’s work as it appeared in the Iranian press prior to his flight.
He drew a cartoon on US-Iran relations during the P5+1 negotiations in 2014/15 that was deemed unacceptable by his peers. Meisam claims he was then harassed, threatened with death and finally beaten by men loyal to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who took umbrage at his “independent minded” cartoons. A CRNI contact in Iran can verify that an assault did indeed take place. Thereafter he fled the country.
He has successfully escaped his persecutors but the situation for refugees in Turkey is far from easy. Meisam hasn’t been able to continue in cartooning professionally and makes ends meet through piecemeal work in the black labor market, all while enduring the rising hostility toward outsiders under an increasingly authoritarian government which itself has a poor record with regard to freedom of speech. What little opportunities he has to draw are done with limited materials and shared via short periods of time in internet cafes.
This sequence of cartoons offers a visual narrative of his experiences. CRNI will lend support as Meisam tries to find a permanent solution to his troubles.