Seven years after we first reported on his troubles, CRNI is delighted to see that the Malysian cartoonist has been fully exonerated of all criminal charges.
— Zunar Cartoonist (@zunarkartunis) July 30, 2018
Malaysian media confirmed news of the acquittal on July 30th.
As long-time followers will recall our Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award winner in 2011 had for the last several years laboured under nine counts of sedition. However the recent change in Malaysia’s government had given us all reason to hope that the case would be dismissed.
Coming shortly after the end to his travel ban, this means Zunar can now resume his international career free from worry of extradition or imprisonment.
The only matters remaining from his previous woes under the Najib Razak regime are his own complaints concerning confiscation of artwork and seizure of books. We hope he is a successful in these court proceedings as his defence has been and that thereafter this long period of strife will fully become a thing of the past.
Meanwhile we turn our attention to this year’s award recipient, to be announced in September, and those other past winners still facing threat such as Musa Kart, expected back in court to appeal his conviction on charges of abetting terrorism. The sorry tale of his persecution and prosecution by the Turkish government took a bizarre twist earlier this month when the travel agent Kart was accused of contacting as a means to reach religious fundamentalists was made a minister in President Erdoğan’s cabinet.
Corruption is everywhere and cartoonists who speak truth to power are easy targets. We’ll continue to work in their defence.