Cartoonist Ramón Esono Ebalé has been named the winner of the 2017 Cartoonists Rights Network International Award for Courage in Editorial Cartooning.
An outspoken and gifted graphic novelist and cartoonist, Ebalé is imprisoned in Equatorial Guinea’s notorious Black Beach prison under as yet unspecified charges.
“The Equatorial Guinean government, one of the most notorious kleptocracies in Africa, is clearly angered by his outspoken comic and cartoon based criticism of the ruling family,” Joel Pett, president of the CRNI board of directors, wrote in a statement accouncing the award.
Ebalé, alias Jamon y Queso, was arrested on 16 September in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea. He was initially questioned by security agents in relation to his cartoons that are critical of President Obiang and other government officials. News outlets reported a few days later that he is being investigated for alleged money laundering and counterfeiting money.