Drawing pressure: Cartoons go under the hammer in support of Index on Censorship


Among the cartoons available in the auction are original artworks by Zulkiflee Anwar Haque (Zunar); Martin Rowson; Xavier Bonilla (Bonil); and Doaa El Adl (clockwise from top left).

Index on Censorship is delighted to announce the auction of an incredible collection of cartoons that celebrate the power of art to challenge suppression. The auction will help fund our work supporting persecuted writers and artists worldwide.

Make a new donation to Index before the end of December to receive a limited-edition postcard set of 10 cartoons created by some of the world’s top political cartoonists

Earlier this year, Index commissioned 10 of the world’s leading cartoonists to pen a work on the theme of free expression. The cartoons are powerful tributes to the role of art, drawn by world-renowned artists from every continent: from a US Pulitzer Prize winner to a Syrian cartoonist beaten in retaliation for his work.

Beginning Tuesday, 24 November 2015, bidders will be able to enter bids for hand-drawn artwork by:

Xavier Bonilla (Bonil) – Ecuador
Regularly denounced, threatened and fined, Ecuador’s Bonil has earned the title “the pursued cartoonist” for his work. For 30 years he has critiqued, lampooned and ruffled the feathers of Ecuador’s political leaders, in the process earning a reputation as one of the wittiest and most fearless cartoonists in South America.

Kevin Kallaugher (Kal) – United States
US artist Kal is the editorial cartoonist for The Economist and The Baltimore Sun and his work has appeared in more than 100 publications worldwide including Le Monde, Der Spiegel, The International Herald Tribune, The New York Times, Time, Newsweek, and The Washington Post. He has won numerous awards, including the 2014 Grand Prix for Cartoon of the Year.

Signe Wilkinson (Signe) – United States
The first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning, Signe has won several other awards for her work. She comments on topical political issues and is best known for her daily cartoons in The Philadelphia Daily News.

Jean Plantureux (Plantu) – France
Plantu is the chief cartoonist for France’s Le Monde and founder of Cartooning for Peace, a global network of cartoonists. This drawing is a rare, signed copy of the world-famous cartoon Plantu drew for Le Monde the day after the attack on Charlie Hebdo.

Martin Rowson – UK
A former Cartoonist Laureate, political satirist Martin Rowson contributes cartoons to The Guardian and the Daily Mirror as well as Index on Censorship magazine. His work has earned him several awards, including the prize for the Best Humour and Satire Book of the Year at this year’s Political Book Awards.

Ali Farzat – Syria
Ali Farzat, a former Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Award winner, came to global attention in 2011 when he was pulled from his car and beaten by Syrian security forces who broke both his hands. When Kuwaiti authorities closed the offices of his newspaper, Al-Watan, earlier this year Ferzat was forced to buy new materials and redrew this cartoon for us from scratch.

Doaa El Adl (Doaa) – Egypt
Doaa is a celebrated female artist in the Arab world – well know for her fearless political work. She has often tackled freedom of speech, human rights and women’s rights issues, wining numerous awards as well as controversy and even charges of blasphemy for her work.

Zulkiflee Anwar Haque (Zunar) – Malaysia
Zunar is an award-winning Malaysian political cartoonist who has been repeatedly targeted by authorities. Five of his cartoon books have been banned by the Malaysian government for carrying content “detrimental to public order” and thousands confiscated. He is currently facing up to 43 years in jail for mocking the government.

David Rowe – Australia
A three-time winner of the Stanley Award for Australia’s Cartoonist of the Year, David Rowe has worked for the Australian Financial Review for 22 years. Rowe’s bright and colourful watercolours are famously merciless.

Damien Glez – (Glez) – Burkina Faso
Glez’s cartoons regularly appear across three continents, including his own weekly satirical newspaper in Burkina Faso: Le Journal du Jeudi . He co-created pan-African monthly satirical Le Marabout, writes his own comic strip Divine Comedy and has won numerous awards internationally..

Bids must be placed by noon on Monday, 14 December 2015.

The auction is being hosted by Givergy.

Zunar: I hope for freedom, but prepare to fight on


Malaysian cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Haque, aka Zunar, currently faces a record number of nine simultaneous charges under Malaysia’s controversial sedition act in a trial that is scheduled to begin on July 7.

Join Index in signing this petition for charges against him to be dropped.

Zunar has been repeatedly targeted for his editorial cartoons that critique the Malaysian government, which has banned much of Zunar’s work and repeatedly subjected him to raids, arrest and detainment.

Zunar, who joined Index at an event on cartoons and censorship in London in May, told Index: “The Malaysian government keeps taking giant reverse steps in terms of human rights and the right for expression. There is no light at the end of the democratic tunnel. I hope for freedom, but prepare to fight on.”

Index on Censorship has called on the Malaysian government to repeal the sedition act. “Malaysia is using an outdated and outmoded act to stifle free expression in the country,” said Index CEO Jodie Ginsberg. “We ask Malaysia to drop its case against Zunar.”

This was posted on 16 June 2015 at indexoncensorship.org

Malaysian authorities must drop charges against cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Haque


Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak,
The Prime Minister of Malaysia,
Office of The Prime Minister,
Main Block, Perdana Putra Building,
Federal Government Administrative Centre,
62502 Putrajaya, MALAYSIA

19 May 2015

Dear Prime Minister Najib,

We, the undersigned international organisations, urge the Malaysian authorities to drop charges against cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Haque “Zunar”, who is currently facing a record-breaking nine charges under the Sedition Act for comments made on the social media network Twitter, for which – if convicted – he could face up to 43 years in prison.

We also call upon the Malaysian authorities to repeal the Sedition Act, a law that is used as a tool to stifle legitimate debate and dissent. In 2012, Prime Minister Najib Razak made a commitment to repeal the Sedition Act. However, following the most recent election, he has instead extended the Sedition Act’s reach and strengthened the penalties for infringement in a move we believe is intended to help maintain his party’s hold on power.

Freedom of expression is an essential part of any democratic society and the Malaysian authorities must protect this right for all, including those who are critical of government. Rather than safeguard this right, the authorities have intensified their crackdown on journalists, writers, activists, students, academics and artists. We, the undersigned international organisations, condemn these violations and urge the international community to support Zunar and everyone in Malaysia to speak freely in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

English PEN
Index on Censorship
Media Legal Defence Initiative
PEN International

Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, Attorney General
Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Khalid bin Abu Bakar, Inspector General of Police

Malaysian cartoonist Zunar says “I will keep drawing until the last drop of my ink”

Index on Censorship commissioned cartoonists to give their take on free expression in the past 12 months. Zunar submitted the above.

In March, Index on Censorship commissioned cartoonists to give their take on free expression in the past 12 months. Zunar submitted the above.

Malaysian political cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Haque “Zunar” was charged with nine counts of sedition for tweets posted following a controversial court ruling. He could be sentenced to 43 years in prison if convicted. He pleaded not guilty. His bail was set at 13,500 RM (£2500.21).

Zunar had reported on 1 April that he has been told that he will be charged under the country’s sedition act.

“My lawyer had just informed me that the police had served a notice to charge me to court under the sedition act over my tweet posting dated 10 of February 2015 on Anwar Ibrahim ruling,” Zunar wrote in a statement ahead of the 3 April court date.

The cartoonist has been repeatedly targeted for his editorial cartoons that critique the Malaysian government, which has banned much of Zunar’s work and repeatedly subjected him to raids, arrest and detainment.

One of the tweets included a cartoon criticising Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s involvement in Ibrahim’s case. That case saw the country’s political opposition leader sentenced to five years for sodomising a former employee. Ibrahim says that the charges are politically motivated.

According to Zunar, the charge he expects on 3 April would be under section 4(1) C of the sedition act, carrying a maximum penalty of three years in prison, a £918 fine, or both. After he posted the tweet in February, he was arrested and detained for three days. During the detention, the police also opened up separate investigation on his cartoon books Pirate of Carry BN and Conspiracy to Imprison Anwar.

Zunar said that he has been advised by his lawyer not to comment about the case in detail.

“I would like to reiterate that the use of sedition act will not silence me. I will keep exposing the corruptions and wrong-doings of the government,” Zunar wrote.

“Index calls on Malaysia to drop these latest charges against Zunar, which are a blatant attempt to stifle free expression and dissent in the country,” Index on Censorship CEO Jodie Ginsberg said.

Zunar has been subject to official harassment for his work taking corruption to task.

On 28 January, Zunar’s office was raided while he was on speaking tour in London. Authorities confiscated more than 150 books. That raid was made under printing presses and publications act, the sedition act and the Malaysian penal code.

In earlier raids on his office more than 500 copies of Zunar’s books were confiscated in two separate raids to his office by the authorities. Authorities also targeted printers, vendors and bookstores around the country and their owners were warned not to print or sell Zunar’s books.

On 6 November 2014, three of his assistants were arrested and taken to the police station for selling his latest cartoon books. A few days later, the webmaster for Zunar’s website and online bookstore was called for questioning by the police under the sedition act.

The police have asked the online payment gateway that handles his book transactions to disclose the list of customers who have purchased his books through official website, zunar.my, according to Zunar’s statement.

On 20 November, Zunar was questioned at by Kuala Lumpur police from the classified crime section. That investigation was triggered by two complaints lodged against him.

This is Zunar’s second investigation under the sedition act for cartooning — the first was in September 2010, when he was arrested and detained for two days. In addition, five of his books — Perak Darul Kartun, 1 Funny Malaysia, Isu Dalam Kartun Vol. 1, 2 and 3 — were banned by the Malaysian home minister from 2009 to 2010.

In 2011, Zunar was conferred Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award by the Cartoonist Rights Network International

In his statement, Zunar pledged that his work against corruption will continue.

“The ‘Fight Through cartoons’ will carry on with more fire. I will keep drawing until the last drop of my ink.”

This post was published at indexoncensorship.org on 1 April, 2015