Cartoonists Rights Network International announces open nominations as we seek to recognise the exemplary bravery and integrity of a cartoonist with our twenty-sixth award presentation.
CRNI presents this award to a cartoonist who in the last twelve months has shown remarkable courage while suffering a threat or threats that constitute a violation of their human rights, especially their freedom of expression as defined by Article 19 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. Specifically:
- physical violence, or the threat of violence, to self or family
- criminalisation e.g. charges of sedition, “insult” to the state etcetera
- arrest, detention or imprisonment by police, military personnel or immigration officers
- forced displacement from home
- vexatious litigation (“SLAPP” suits)
- online harassment e.g. hacking, DDoS attacks, mass trolling etcetera
- verbal or physical abuse or intimidation based on age, gender, race or sexual orientation
Past recipients of the award include:
- 2020 – Ahmed Kabir Kishore, Bangladesh: no longer a prisoner, Kishore nonetheless continues to experience judicial harassment in Bangladesh and has suffered permanent damage to his health from wounds he says were given during police interrogation; recently a medical panel failed to substantiate his official allegations of torture.
- 2019 – Badiucao, China/Australia: Badiucao continues to speak truth to power as a dissident based in Australia and has been vociferous in his support of the “Milk Tea Alliance” movement; he still reports evidence of cyber attack and online threats and for the past several months has been unable to use his Instagram account.
- 2018 – Pedro X. Molina, Nicaragua/USA: last month Molina’s former employers, Confidencial news, were beseiged by police ahead of this year’s presidential elections; the escalating situation makes it increasingly unlikely that Molina will be able to return home safely and he has embarked upon a new position at Cornell University.
While making their nominations correspondents may wish to consider the regions that have seen the most obvious and egregious collapses in human rights standards over the last year. We have already reported on the alarming backslide in Malaysia and there are signs of a very similar downward trend in India. The whole world has been seized by the horror of the Myanmar coup and the the most recent violence in Gaza. We are also reminded of those nations that have suffered severely under governments unable or unwilling to manage the pandemic, most notably Brazil.
Of course there are are many individual cases of note too, from cartoonists singled out by politicians to those disappeared into the penal system or taken to court by overly sensitive public officials.
Please send your nomination to CRNI Executive Director Terry Anderson at email@example.com with “Annual Award” on the subject line — or click here:
The email should contain a brief description of the problems faced by the cartoonist. And if possible please include contact information for them, a family member or other representative. The cut-off date for nominations is Friday, July 9th at 12.00 EST
CRNI’s Board of Directors will consider the nominees and select a recipient. For the second year in row, and as measures taken against the COVID-19 pandemic continue, we do not anticipate making an in-person award presentation. An online announcement will be made in the fall. We sincerely hope that 2022 will see the return of cartoonists’ gatherings as normal and with it resumption of conventional awards-giving.
Note: CRNI does not present its award to a specific cartoon in recognition of its excellence and so is not seeking the submission of cartoons about freedom of expression or threats to it. We are concerned solely with cartoonists’ human rights. Therefore CRNI makes no comment on their professional status or quality/content of their work. However we will not consider cartoonists whose output advocates violence or encourages any form of hate speech.