Musa and his newspaper were sued by Prime Minister Recep Erdogan for a cartoon of the Prime Minister depicting him as a kitten entangled in a ball of yarn. The implication was that the Prime Minister was clumsily entangled in politics. The courts eventually agreed that Musa’s opinion did not amount to libel. Learn more about Musa’s ultimately inspiring story in our Eastern Europe section of our Art to Die For collection. [full story]
A picture on Namate’s Facebook page, taken in 1999, shows him at his Daily News desk drawing a cartoon. In April 2000 a homemade bomb was thrown at the paper’s office, and in 2001 a series of bombs were planted in the building, blowing up the printing press. In 2003 the paper, known for its critical views on President Robert Mugabe, was denied a permit and subsequently shut down.
Tony was threatened, harassed and forced to leave several cartooning positions by high ranking administration officials. He and many of his newspaper colleagues however continued to defy excessive government censorship regulations.
CRNI’s 2002 Award for Courage in Editorial Cartooning was given to Paul-Louis Nyemb Ntoogueé, aka Popoli (“the people”), from Cameroon. The award was given in recognition of his many years personal sacrifice in the face of repeated attempts to silence him, and as part of our campaign to spotlight his case, and bring additional pressure on those in power to relent.
Popoli’s troubles with the government of President Paul Biya began in late 1991, when he was arrested and tortured for marching in a public demonstration for freedom of the press. Popoli was subsequently threatened with arrest in 1992, for a series of cartoons about government corruption, hiding in a swamp for 20 days until matters cooled down. He was arrested and interrogated again in 1996, before all charges were dropped.
From that point onward, Popoli became the target of escalating threats of violence. In August 1998 two strangers assaulted the cartoonist at his office. A few days later Popoli fled the country after being tipped off that he would be attacked again, this time along with his younger sister. The day he fled the country, officers invaded his house and left behind the written threat that they would kill him by a thousand machete cuts if he continued to draw “disrepectful” cartoons of President Biya and the First Lady.
After briefly seeking asylum in South Africa, and then through the Canadian Embassy in Pretoria, Popoli decided to return to Cameroon. As he explained to CRNI, “I’d rather be buried by friends in my village than continue to live in fear among strangers.”
Threats and pressure continued, escalating into violence again in late 2001, when Popoli was dragged from his car and severely beaten by Security Officers. Shortly afterwards he was arrested, ostensibly for a cartoon which referenced the First Lady’s long-rumored past as a prostitute.
Essam Hanafy, Egypt 2000 Essam was arrested, fined, and sentenced to prison for a cartoon that criticized the Minister of Agriculture.
Essam Hanafy is an Egyptian cartoonist who wrote for the opposition paper, Al-Sha’b. In April 2000, he and two other journalists for the paper were arrested for their criticism of government officials. Hanafy was fined and sentenced to one year imprisonment and hard-labor. Hanafy was convicted for his cartoons criticizing the Minister of Agriculture. Hanafy was released early in October, 2000 and received the Courage in Cartooning award from Cartoonists’ Rights Network the same year.