Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

 
 
Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

The two previous instalments can be consulted here.

El humor en apuros, recopilación de casos (II) Humour in trouble (I). Cases from 1978 to 2016

Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)Humour in trouble (III). Cases from 2020 onwards

I had to cut it up because it was getting too long and the post was starting to have problems loading and with the editor.

Last updated: 21 April 2022. Total cases: 181

2019 Algeria / Benabdelhamid Amine, “Nime”

Cartoonist Benabdelhamid Amine, “Nime” (TwitterBlog), was convicted and sentenced. He will spend at least three months of his one-year sentence in prison.

He was on trial for his satirical illustrations, for “insulting” Algerian politicians and the Algerian military.

The conviction is based on Article 96 of the Algerian penal code, which punishes up to three years’ imprisonment for anyone who “distributes (…) exposes to the public (…) for propaganda purposes, leaflets or newsletters or images of such a nature as to be detrimental to national interests”.

2 January 2020. A video and some photos appear from which it is clear that he has been released.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2019 New Zealand / Garrick Tremain

The Otago Daily Times newspaper in New Zealand apologised for the this cartoon about the measles outbreak in Samoa and suspended its cartoonist Garrick Tremain (1941) after the cartoonist was accused of mocking the epidemic and the paper was accused of spreading racist messages. Its editor even had to apologise in the street to a group of protesters who gathered outside the newspaper.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2019 Bolivia /Al-Azar

Alejandro Salazar (Cochabamba-1959), who signs as “Al-Azar”. He left the newspaper La Razón, where he had worked as a cartoonist since 2011. This was announced by the newspaper on an editorial on 3 November.

The main reason is that he claims to feel besieged by the aggressive reactions to his latest cartoons, but what has had more weight in his decision to leave his job has been the reaction of his professional colleagues, who published a “Public statement” as a trade union column shaking off any responsibility for his cartoons, the disappointment of the “accusing finger” of his colleagues was the final reason for his decision, not an easy one for a cartoonist.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2019 Spain Elihu Duayer / Getxo City Council / UNESCO Etxea

ErNE, a trade union of the Ertzaintza, the Basque regional police force, is calling for the removal of a cartoon from an exhibition in Getxo on human rights organised by UNESCO Etxea. According to the union, the image links the police to torture.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2019 Algeria / Nime

The painter, sculptor and cartoonist, Abdelhamid Aminebetter known as “Nime”, was arrested on Tuesday 26 November by plainclothes Algerian police officers who entered the offices of his advertising agency “Creature” and seized his computers and other tools and work material.

According to local NGO CNLD, the first information on the causes of his arrest point to Nime’s latest works, published on his blog in early November.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2019 Colombia / Nadim

The Colombian cartoonist Nadim had to go to court on Tuesday 15 October for a conciliation meeting with Abelardo de la Espriella.

This controversial the pro-Uribe lawyer considers that Nadím’s cartoon, which was published on 26 October 2018 in “Las 2 Orillas” under the title “Abelardo el multifacético“, is offensive.

Now, the plaintiff asks that the cartoon be removed from the Las 2 Orillas website and that the cartoonist also remove it from all the networks where he has published it.

Update: The case was filed just two months after the complaint, the matter was not even fit for trial.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2019 Pakistan / Khalid Hussain

The cartoon by the cartoonist Khalid Hussain (1965) published on 25 September in the Pakistani daily newspaper The Nation provoked complaints and criticisms with some calling the cartoon disgraceful, insulting and disrespectful and adding the whole repertoire of complaints about offences to the country, the paper not only apologised, it has also ensured that the cartoon no longer appears in its gallery(screenshot) and decided to stop publishing Khalid Hussain’s cartoons.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2019 Panama / Hilde Sucre

Panama’s former president, Ricardo Martinelli, has sued the cartoonist and the media outlet Hilde Sucre (FB) and the media My Newspaper for this cartoon published on 17 April 2019.

Martinelli seeks $100,000 in damages for an alleged offence against his honour.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2019 Brazil / various authors

A day after the inauguration of the graphic humour exhibition “Independência e Risco” (Independence and Risk), installed at the entrance of the plenary hall of the Porto Alegre City Hall (Brazil), it was closed and all the cartoons removed.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2019 Canada / Malcolm Mayes

The Canadian newspaper Edmonton Journal apologised for this cartoon from Malcolm Mayes (1962) that some considered anti-Semitic. As of today, the cartoon already does not appear in the gallery of pieces published in August on the newspaper’s website.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2019 China / Zhang Dongning

On Sunday 28 July, the police in Anhui Province announced on its account on the Weibo social network that in May it had detained a 22-year-old cartoonist for disseminating content that “humiliates China”.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2019 United Kingdom / Steve Bell

The cartoonist Steve Bell (Walthamstow, London, 1951) sent a blunt letter to The Guardian, the newspaper he has worked for since 1981, after one of the strips in his section entitled “If” was rejected.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2019 Spain/ Editorial Comanegra and others

In mid-June, representatives of the national police union, JUPOL Baleares, went to court in Palma to file a complaint that will lead to a conciliation process as a preliminary step to filing a complaint for hate crime and slander for the publication of the comic in which the police forces are attacked, according to this unionattacks the State Security Forces for their actions during 1 October 2017 in Catalonia.

The conciliation proceedings will be held on 25 September.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2019 Canada/ Michael de Adder

On 28 June, Canadian Michael de Adder was fired from his job as an editorial cartoonist for major newspapers Brunswick News Inc. 24 hours after this cartoon went viral on social media. de Adder had been working for the company for 17 years.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2019 India/ Suhail H. Naqshbandi

On 1 May, the cartoonist Suhail H. Naqshbandi published a text in which he explained his reasons for quitting his job as an editorial cartoonist for the daily Greater Kashmir. Censorship of the medium was increasing and government pressures ended up making his work impossible.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2019 USA/Portugal / António Moreira Antunes

In April 2019, The New York Times apologised for a cartoon by Portuguese-born António Moreira about Trump and Netanyahu published in its international edition after receiving numerous accusations of anti-Semitism.

The paper cancelled the contract with the syndicate that provided the cartoons and disciplined (whatever that means) the editor who had chosen the piece.

On 10 June, the New York Times announces on 1 July stopped publishing political cartoons in its international edition and announced that it was laying off two of its editorial cartoonists, Patrick Chappatte and Heng Kim Song.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2019 Brazil / Renato Aroeira

In late January, the Jewish federation of Rio announced a lawsuit against cartoonist Renato Aroeira for this cartoon, published by the newspaper O Dia, about minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Brazil’s new president, Jair Bolsonaro. The image, entitled “the embrace”, shows the two leaders forming a swastika with their arms.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2019 Nicaragua / Pedro X. Molina

Confidencial cartoonist Pedro Molina denounced on 25 February 2018 having received serious threats from the government of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo and pointed to the couple as responsible for anything that might happen to him or people close to him.

Molina said that the threats came from a person linked to the government party and that he had passed them on verbally to someone close to his family, including precise and abundant details of his private life.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2019 USA / Wiley Miller

Wiley Miller, author of the nationally syndicated cartoon Non Sequitur“Wiley Miller, author of the nationally syndicated cartoon, included what he called an “Easter egg” in his Sunday 10 February strip, which he announced on his Twitter account.

A reader alerted Pennsylvania’s Buttler Eagle newspaper to the message in the cartoon and the company, which did not take kindly to it, decided to suspend the cartoons wiley Miller, which published the cartoon every Sunday.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2019 Turkey / Ibhim Özdabak and Kazim Güleçyüz (Yeni Aysa Newspaper)

The cartoonist Ibhim Özdabak (1957) and Kazim Güleçyüz (1959), journalist and editor-in-chief of the newspaper Yeni Asya, were accused by a prosecutor of spreading terrorist propaganda.

According to Kronos , both will be tried on terrorism charges for some cartoons and messages on Twitter. The first hearing of the trial will be held on May 2 at the 29th Istanbul High Criminal Court.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2019 USA / The Augusta Chronicle & Rick McKee

The Augusta Chronicle newspaper (Georgia, USA) has removed from its website the editorial cartoon of Rick McKee of 3 January 2019 relating to the candidacy of Elizabeth Warren for the 2020 presidential election.

In addition, the newspaper published an editorial apologising for the use of “injun” (Indian), a term in disuse to refer to Native Americans and considered pejorative. They made it clear, however, that they agree with the underlying criticism of the cartoon.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2018 Malaysia / Fhadi Reza

The problems for Fahmi Reza, cartoonist and activist of the “Occupy” movement, started on 31 January 2016 when he posted on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter a poster with a caricature of Najib Razak as a clown with the message “In a country full of corruption, we are all seditionists” , a direct reference to the sedition law.

The image of the sinister clown went viral becoming a symbol of the “political circus” of corruption in Malaysia and was used both online and in other street protests and ended up printed on T-shirts, stickers, posters, trainers and other media.

After being questioned, then arrested and sentenced to one month in jail and a fine of RM30,000, or six months in jail for non-compliance, Fahmi Reza managed to raise funds to pay the fine through a crowdfunding campaign and had not yet started serving his sentence pending the High Court’s decision as he had appealed.

Two years after the publication of the cartoon, in 2018, his jail term was commuted and the fine, already paid, was reduced to RM10,000.

Reza is not the first cartoonist to be charged with sedition and tried in Malaysia under the “Multimedia Act”, but he is the first to be convicted, as cartoonist “Zunar“, after a long trial was acquitted of all charges.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2018 Spain/ Santi Orue

On 9 November, Santi Orue announced that he had been “kicked out” of the magazine/fanzine TMEO, although he had rather left it because he was informed by letter that they were going to start submitting his cartoons to the editorial board for assessment, something that Orue understood as an “ideological sieve“. The approach and treatment of certain themes in recent years was the reason, and the magazine pointed out that it had also caused“explicit rejection” from the fanzine’s collaborators.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2018 Colombia / Nani Mosquera

A citizen living in Cúcuta filed a tutela against the newspaper La Opinión and the cartoonist Nani for the strip of the section “El Mundo Mágico de Magola” published on 8 September in the newspaper La Opinión, considering that it generated xenophobia, that it instigated hatred towards Venezuelans, that it was abusive and discriminated against Venezuelans and that it presupposed bad intentions in the message of the strip.

The tutelage requested that the author retract her statement and that she be sanctioned accordingly. The author replied that she found the accusation that she was promoting hatred of Venezuelans to be very unfair when that was precisely what she was criticising and denouncing in her strip.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2018 Australia/ Mark Night

Australian cartoonist MarkNight, illustrated his view of Serenna William’s reaction after losing the US Open final to Naomi Osaka in a cartoon published on Sunday 10 September 2018 in the “Herald Sun”

Many media outlets highlighted the opinion j.K. Rowling on Twitter, who called the cartoon racist and sexist, although it is true that there were many criticisms of the cartoon, which was described as racist, sexist, misogynist, obscene, trashy, insulting, grotesque, deplorable and disgusting, among other things. There was also no shortage of those who called for the dismissal of the cartoonist and the editor.

The cartoonist ended up closing his Twitter account and the newspaper defended its cartoonist’s work by republishing the Serenna Williams cartoon, and others, also by Night, on its front page on 12 September.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2018 India / Satish Acharya

The editor of the Indian daily “Mail Today”, Dwaipayan Bose, decided to publish a photograph instead of this cartoon titled “Claws” by its cartoonist, Satish Acharya, on Sunday 12 August.

On the same day, the author published his opinion on the matter on his blog under the title “…”, in which he expressed his feelings about itSorry, no cartoon“in which he expressed his annoyance and announced that he was resigning from his job at the newspaper.

The editor denied that this was a case of censorship and appealed to editorial criteria to justify the rejection of the cartoon, however, the cartoonist pointed to other cartoons that were also rejected by the same editor.(Capture)

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2018 China / Jiang Yefei

A trial was heldon 13 July 2018 for which the sentence was not known until Tuesday 24 July, the Chongqing First Intermediate People’s Court sentenced political cartoonist Jiang Yefei, 50, to six and a half years in prison on charges of “inciting subversion of state power” and “illegal border crossing.”

Jiang Yefei, a satirical cartoonist best known for his work for the US online magazine Boxun. Yefei had been a refugee in Thailand since 2008 and was arrested on 28 October 2015 at the request of the Chinese authorities, who “repatriated” him on the same plane as the Swedish editor Gui Minhai – still detained and awaiting trial – and the human rights activist Dong Guangping, sentenced to three and a half years in the same trial as the cartoonist.

Before receiving this sentence, Jiang spent almost three months in solitary confinement, appearing in the Chinese state media looking as if he had been mistreated. Before taking refuge in Thailand, Jiang had been imprisoned and tortured on several occasions for his work as a cartoonist, according to sources said.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2018 Israel /AviKatz

On Tuesday 17 July, The Jerusalem Report, a fortnightly magazine published by the Israeli daily The Jerusalem Post, announced that it was dispensing with cartoonist Avi Katz (1949) over a cartoon, published in the magazine the same day, which caricatured Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Likud lawmakers as pigs in a clear allusion to George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”.” The author was immediately accused of anti-Semitism on social media.

The newspaper did not want to qualify its decision and announced the cartoonist’s dismissal, citing unspecified editorial criteria.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2018USA/Rob Rogers

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette rejected 19 cartoons by cartoonist Rob Rogers. In a short space of time, the paper decided not to publish 10 finished cartoons and 9 other ideas.

Most of the rejected cartoons featured Donald Trump, prompting many to hold the editor responsible for censoring the cartoons after he declared himself a Trump supporter. In a note without much detail, the paper denied that the issue had anything to do with politics, ideology or Donald Trump and put it down to internal staff and organisational issues.

Several cartoonists and groups defended Rogers’ work and some readers demonstrated outside the doors of the paper’s former offices. The cartoonist announced that he was taking a few days off until he knew how his relationship with the paper was going.

On 14 June 2018, Rogers announced that he had been fired from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where he had worked for 25 years.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2018 UK /Steve Bell

The Guardian newspaper refused to publish this cartoon by Jiang Jiang Steve Belldated Wednesday 7 June, which criticised the assassination of Palestinian nurse volunteer Razan al-Najar by an Israeli army sniper on 1 June.

At two emails sent to journalists, and reproduced by HuffPost UK, Bell said he had been “unjustly betrayed”. Following criticism from the paper’s editor, Katharine Viner, the cartoonist denied accusations that he had used anti-Semitic messages.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2018 Turkey / Nuri Kurtcebe

The Turkish cartoonist Nuri Kurtcebekurtcebe, 69, was sentenced to one year, two months and 15 days in prison for insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over a cartoon he drew in 2015. Kurtcebe was arrested by police on Sunday night, 3 June 2018, in Yalova province.

Convicted of insulting the president, he was sent to a prison in Yalova after appearing on Monday 4 June 2018 before the court where the sentence was read out.

Kurtcebe, who drew, among other media, for the daily newspaper Hurriyet and the Aydinlikhas received several awards for his work. He was awarded the ‘Hasan Tahsin of the Year’ award for three consecutive years (1997 to 1999) for his cartoons in the Cumhuriyet newspaper and is a regular in well-known Turkish humour publications.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2018 Germany / Dieter Hanitzsch

The German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung sacked the cartoonist Dieter Hanitzsch and apologised for a cartoon published on 15 May 2018 that some considered anti-Semitic.

The cartoonist refused to apologise.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2018 India/ Swathi Vadlamudi and Shabbir Ahmed

On April 14, the Hyderabad police registered an FIR, against the journalist Swathi Vadlamudi for drawing and posting this cartoon on 10 and 11 April 2018 on her Facebook page. The complainant feels that the image insults the devotees of god Rama and hurts their sentiments.

The journalist is also complained against Shabbir Ahmed times Now journalist for sharing it on Twitter. A day earlier, another complaint had already been filed against this journalist for posting “offensive” pictures and messages. (See previous complaint. Pag 1 y 2)

Both were insulted and threatened with death on the internet.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2018 Colombia / Diego García and newspaper “Vanguardia Liberal”

Héctor Mantilla Rueda, mayor of Floridablanca, a Colombian municipality in the department of Santander, filed a complaint for libel and slander against cartoonist Diego García and the newspaper “Vanguardia Liberal” for this cartoon of 11 May 2017.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2018 Colombia / “Matador” and newspaper El Tiempo

José Luis Reyes Villamizar, a lawyer who considers himself a supporter of the Centro Democrático, filed a complaint against the Colombian cartoonist Diego García and the newspaper “Vanguardia Liberal” for tutela against the Colombian cartoonist Julio César González, ‘Matador’(FBTW) and the newspaper El Tiempo for the cartoon published on 24 February 2018 ‘Duque, reflect’, published on 24 February 2018.

According to Villamizarthe cartoon violates his rights to a good name, freedom of conscience and freedom of choice, as well as being considered offensive

Requests the judge to issue an order for both ‘Matador‘ and the newspaper El Tiempo to publicly apologise.

On 22 March, the fourth circuit judge for the execution of sentences denied José Luis Reyes Villamizar’s tutela against Matador. According to judge Hilda María Saffon, the cartoonist’s creativity and wit should not be limited by those who do not share his opinion.

On 3 April 2018, the cartoonist denounced that he was receiving death threats and therefore stopped posting on his social networks.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2018 Armenia / Marianna Grigoryan – Medialab

On 28 January 2018marianna Grigoryanthe journalist and editor of MediaLab, an EED-supported Armenian news portal that illustrates its reports on politics with satirical cartoons, received death threats against her and her family after publishing a joke featuring Armenian Defence Minister Vigen Sargsyan.

Police opened an investigation to find the perpetrator of the threats.

She and other workers of the publication had received threats and intimidation before.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2017 India / G. Bala

The Indian cartoonist G. Bala (Bombay, 1980) was arrested on 5 November in Tamil Nadu for a cartoon that the authorities considered obscene and defamatory.

The G. Bala image depicted Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami along with two other members of the Tirunelveli district police and administration naked and covering their privates with a wad of currency notes while a child dies, or is dead, still smouldering at their feet.

The cartoon alludes to an event on 23 October when all four members of a family died after being doused with paraffin by their father and burnt in front of an official building in protest against loan sharks. The family alleged police inaction to prevent threats and harassment by moneylenders.

G.Bala was arrested under Section 67 of the Information Technology Act, which punishes “publication or transmission of obscene material in electronic form” and Section 501 of the Indian Penal Code: “printing or recording of material deemed defamatory”.

The Press Club of Chennai announced a demonstration in the state capital on Monday 6 November in protest against the arrest of the cartoonist.

24 hours later, G.Bala was released on bail.

His first words after his release were that he will continue to draw cartoons and point out the mistakes of the government.

Weeks later, the police filed a FIR (Final Inspection Report) a formality to initiate legal proceedings against the cartoonist and two journalists responsible for the 6 November protest Press Club of Chennai for the protest on 6 November in which large reproductions of the G. Bala cartoon were hung on its façade.(Info)

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2017 Spain / El Jueves

Five national police unions, CEP, SUP, UFP, SPP and ASP NP, filed a complaint for libel against the magazine El Jueves for the satirical cartoon entitled “La continua presencia de G. Bala” (“The continued presence of G. Bala”) this article satirical article entitled “La continua presencia de antidisturbios acaba con las reservas de cocaína en Cataluña” (“The continued presence of anti-riot forces wipes out cocaine stocks in Catalonia“)

The magazine’s editor, Guillermo Martínez-Vela was summoned as an investigator by the head of the 20th examining magistrate’s court in Barcelona for Wednesday, 8 November, for preliminary proceedings for the crime of libel. Related cartoon.

After questioning the director, the judge charges, also for slander, the author of the text and deputy director of “El Jueves, Joan Ferrús. Both are under investigation for slander.

26/11/2017 The State joins the case against “El Jueves”

In May 2018, the 20th examining court of Barcelona concludes that “El Jueves” may have committed an alleged offence of libel, and gives notice to the parties so that they can legally qualify the facts and request the opening of an oral trial.

November 2018, the prosecutor asks to close the case against “El Jueves” because the article on cocaine and riot police on 1-O was “pure fiction”.

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2017 Spain / El Jueves

In May 2017, the Union of Officers (UO) of the Civil Guard denounced the former lieutenant of the Army Luis Gonzalo Segura for“seriously and publicly insulting the Institution of the Civil Guard” in a text that accompanied a cartoon of Juan José Cuerda published on10 May 2017 in the magazine El Jueves under the title “Rompan filas”. (Ver page)

On 14 March 2018, Barcelona’s 27th examining court dismissed the complaint against the publisher of the magazine El Jueves, RBA Holding.

The ruling makes “incisive reference” to the 13 March ruling of the ECHR which “further broadens the consideration of freedom of expression when it is framed in a context of political denunciation”.

The judge considers that the article should be understood in “the context of social denunciation and therefore, framed within the constitutional rights of freedom of expression and information“.

However, he invokes a judgment of the Audiencia Nacional to conclude that “it is not the expression psychopath or fascist that determines the conviction for the crime of slander and libel against state institutions, but rather that of murderers, thieves, etc.”.

The judge concludes: “Therefore, neither does the expression psychopaths and fascists framed in the social denunciation, in the author’s opinion, constitute a crime of slander

April 2018. The Public Prosecutor’s Office appeals the dismissal of the complaint.

May 2018. In an order dated 9 April, the magistrate the appeal is dismissed alleging that the Prosecutor’s Office does not provide “further argumentation” or “other resolutions that establish different considerations and that deserve” to be resolved by the judging body.

June 2019. The Barcelona High Court ratifies the decision of the examining magistrate to file the complaint.

Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2017 Jordan / Emad Hajjaj

Jordanian cartoonist Emad Hajjaj is under investigation for insulting religion for a cartoon that was published (capture) on Sunday 29 October 2017 on abumahjoobnews.com and has since been taken down.

The cartoon angered both Christians and Muslims.

According to Mahmoud Quteishat, the cartoonist’s lawyer, the prosecutor heard testimony from the cartoonist and the person who filed the complaint. The prosecutor, who did not order the cartoonist’s arrest, will now hear other witnesses and decide whether to take the matter to court.

If he is finally charged with insulting religion, provoking sectarian conflicts and found guilty, he could be sentenced to three years in prison.

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2017 Spain / Cels Piñol

The Spanish embassy in Bulgaria cancelled the lecture that the Catalan cartoonist Cels Piñol, creator of Fanhunter, was to give at the National Art Academy in Sofia. The reason, according to the author’s statement: “They have seen my position in favour of the referendum and the republic, and for this reason they thought it appropriate to cancel it“.

Cels told the media the organisers’ arguments for cancelling the conference: “They told me that they had looked at my profile and that they had seen that since 1 October I had been very active and they didn’t want any trouble“.

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2017 European Union / Various authors

The exhibition entitled ‘EU Turns 60: A Cartoon Party‘, which celebrated the 60th anniversary of the creation of the European Union, was amputated by Liberal MEP Catherine Bearder, the MEP responsible for cultural and artistic events, who has approved its display provided that twelve of the twenty-eight cartoons that were part of the exhibition were removed.

The 12 cartoons were rejected on the grounds that they contained “controversial content” and “could affect the outcome of the elections in Germany on 24 September”. An absurd argument, given that the exhibition was not scheduled to open until the 26th of the same month.

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2017 Equatorial Guinea / Ramón Esono

The cartoonist Ramón Esono Ebalé was arrested at around 19:00 on Saturday 16 September in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, where he had travelled to renew his passport and was taken to the police headquarters, popularly known as “Guantánamo”.

According to the account of two of his friends, who were with him at the time of his arrest, Ramón was interrogated about his drawings and texts.

On Sunday 17 September, Esono’s case became more complicated, he was accused of being the main promoter of a money counterfeiting network and sent to “Black Beach”, the toughest prison in Africa, where he was to spend more than 5 months.

At the trial the trial held on Tuesday 27 February 2018 in Malabo dropped all charges against Ramón Esono and it was learned that he would be released in a few days.

Ramon Esono was released on 7 March 2017 and began to organise his trip to El Salvador to join his family.

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2017 United Kingdom/ Naji al-Ali

On the 30th anniversary of the assassination in London of Palestinian cartoonist Naji Salim Hussain Al-Ali, creator of the popular character “Handala“The case has been reopened by investigators from the Counter Terrorism Command (CTC) of the Metropolitan Police.

At around 17:10 on Wednesday 22 July 1987, Naji al-Ali, a political cartoonist for the Kuwaiti daily Al-Qabas, was shot in the back of the head as he made his way to his office in Ives Street, Knightsbridge.

Al-Ali, 51, was taken to hospital, where he remained in a coma for 37 days until he died on 29 August 1987. The cartoonist had received several death threats in the years leading up to his murder.

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2017 Russia / Viktor Nochevnov

On 3 August 2017, Viktor Nochevnov, a 32-year-old Russian citizen living in Sochi was convicted of “offending the religious feelings of believers“. His crime was sharing satirical cartoons (which he did not create) about Jesus Christ on the social network Vkontakte (VK) in 2014.

Although he removed the cartoons at the time, he could not avoid prosecution under a 2013 law and was ordered to pay a fine of 50,000 roubles, about $830. His lawyer announced that he would appeal the sentence.

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2017 Puerto Rico/ Harold Jessurun and Aníbal Quiñones

On 11 July, the Puerto Rican newspaper “Primera Hora” published the cartoon of the series “Pepito” by Harold Jessurun and Aníbal Quiñones, as it had been doing for 10 years. And that was the last one.

After complaints from several politicians, the newspaper decided to suspend the strip and fire its creators.

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2017 Brazil / Osmani Simanca

In June 2017, the cartoonist Osmani Simanca was fired from the Brazilian daily A Tarde.

This Cuban-born and naturalised Brazilian cartoonist had been working for more than 15 years for the newspaper A Tarde, the oldest in the state of Bahia and one of the oldest in Brazil. It has been in print since 1912.

According to the author, he was not fired for a specific cartoon but for his criticism of the government of Michel Temer and his allies. In other words, for the whole of his cartoons in 2016.

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2017USA/ Liam Shea

In early June Morristown High School mounted its art and design exhibition of student work, the theme of the art class this time being “America Takes a selfie“.

Liam Shea’s five-foot-talldrawing was removed and the student was informed that it would not be part of the exhibition.

Another student’ s painting showing Trump riding a missile taking a selfie was also withdrawn.

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2017 South Africa /Zapiro

On 9 July 2016, South African police arrested four suspected terrorists planning attacks on embassies, other Jewish institutions and individuals in Pretoria, as part of an alleged plan to join the self-styled terrorist group “Islamic State” (IS)

In 2017, during the trial of the detainees, it emerged that the well-known Jewish cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro “Zapiro” was on the list of targets, planning to kill him “for drawing cartoons about the messenger of Allah“.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2017 Turkey / Orhan Aydin

Turkish actor and columnist Orhan Aydin was sentenced to 11 months and 20 days in prison for insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for sharing on the Internet this cartoona 2015 book by Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff.

A court in Istanbul issued this verdict on charges of insulting the Turkish president. The fact that Aydin shared Latuff’s cartoon about Erdogan’s trip to Cuba on social media was one of the proofs of the “insult”.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2017 India / Inturi Ravikiran

Inturi Ravikiran (Tw) a political comedian who posts his humorous photomontages on social media was arrested by Andhra Pradesh Police in Hyderabad (India) at 3:30 am on Friday, April 21.

A dozen policemen surrounded Ravikiran’s house and bundled him into a car without informing the family where he was being taken.

When his wife, Sujana Ravikiran, asked the police about the cause of his arrest she was told that “he was posting insulting satires about the prime ministerNara Chandrababu Naiduhis son Nara Lokesh and the TDP (Telugu Desam Party)

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2017 Palestine / Osama Nazzel

In the early hours of Monday 27 March 2017, a group of around 30 Israeli army soldiers surrounded and raided the cartoonist’s studio Osama Nazzelthe group of soldiers was surrounded and raided the cartoonist’s studio in his parents’ house in the town of Kafr Ni’ma.

They kept his relatives locked in a room and interrogated them to ask about the cartoonist. In addition to ransacking the place and taking down paintings and tearing drawings hanging on the wall, they confiscated some of his work.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2017 Norway / Arifur Rahman

On 1 March 2017, a man violently broke into the exhibition of cartoonist Arifur Rahman “Arif” and unhung and took 4 of his 25 works. Two of the drawings stolen from the exhibition were recovered.

The exhibition was related to the newly arrived asylum seekers in the Norwegian town of Drøbak.

The man, who behaved in a threatening manner, said the drawings were blasphemous. The cartoonist believes that two other people who were at the entrance of the room were related to the attacker.

According to the cartoonist, none of the organisers of the event tried to arrest the man and he alleged that city officials tried to hush up the event. Furthermore, the municipality tried to persuade the cartoonist not to report the theft on the grounds that the incident could affect other asylum seeker cases and could also change “the population’s perception of all new refugees arriving in the municipality”. He also noted that the municipality tried to get the local media to hush up the news of the attack.

Arifur Rahman(Twitter- Web) is a Bangladeshi cartoonist exiled in Norway. He works as a freelance cartoonist for Norwegian newspapers and studies 3D and Animation. He has received several national awards and is the founder and editor of tOOns MaG.

The cartoonist has been living in Norway since 2010 as a guest of ICORN (International Cities of Refuge Network), an independent organisation that offers refuge to writers and artists at risk.
Rahman was persecuted, imprisoned and tortured for his cartoons in Bangladesh. In 2007 he was arrested and imprisoned for six months for a cartoon that the Bangladesh Islamic Party considered offensive. In 2009 he was jailed again for two months for the same cartoon.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2017 Spain / José Manuel Sande

February 2017. Aurora Carro, president of the Association of Widows of Lugo, and six other people filed a complaint in A Coruña’s duty court.

The reason for the complaint was this poster the complaint was based on a Carnival cartoon depicting a character dressed as a pope, which they considered offensive to “religious feelings”.

At the end of March, José Manuel Sande, councillor for culture in Lugo, was summoned for an alleged offence against religious feelings and will have to appear on 17 April 2017 in A Coruña’s Court of Instruction number 3.

Aurora Carro wants the councillor to apologise publicly.

Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)Update 24 May 2107.

The case against the councillor of Cultures for the Carnival posteris archived. The Court of Instruction number 3 assures that the design does not despise religious feelings, that it is only a caricature. This decision can be appealed.

The prosecution maintains that the poster is:

“…at most, a provocative or satirical image and would not directly or indirectly question any dogma, belief, rite or ceremony of the Catholic religion” and that “”there is not even the certainty that it depicts the Pope”.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2017 Spain / Eduard Torres

On 14 February 2017, the Diari de Terrassa published this cartoon by Eduard Torres, “Don Edi”. It was immediately branded as sexist, despicable, shameful and misogynist.

Podem, PSC, CUP, LGTB Terrassa, the 8 March commission of the Terrassa City Council and other individuals rejected the cartoon.

The newspaper published a note of apology from the cartoonist and an editorial on the matter, entitled “Error” in which they also apologised.

What is noteworthy in this case is that the staff of the Terrasa newspaper issued a statement rejecting the cartoon by Don Edi on behalf of the workers and dissociating themselves from it.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2017 Turkey / Seyfi Sahin – Girgir Magazine

The most surprising thing about this case is that, on this occasion, the editors themselves have applied self-censorship, acted as thought police and closed down the publication, firing all the workers.

The satirical magazine Girgir, published by the Estetik publishing house, was distributed as a free weekly supplement to the daily Sözcü. The editors said they were closing the magazine, one of the most widely read in Turkey, because of a cartoon that was deemed offensive to Jews and Muslims.

In the cartoon the Jewish prophet, also considered a sacred figure in Islam and Christianity, is telling how he parted the waters of the Red Sea, the people listening around him complain, using a swear word, that he is always repeating the same stories.

July 2017 update: Turkish cartoonist Seyfi Sahin is sentenced to 18 months in prison

The trial began on Tuesday 18 July 2017. The prosecution requested 18 months in prison for Seyfi Sahin, although this may be raised to 1 year and nine months.

Finally, on 24 May 2018, the cartoonist was sentenced to 1 year and 15 days in prison.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)

2017 Turkey / Baris Inan

According to the blog of the Turkish magazine Homur, the cartoonist Baris Inan (1973), who is currently in prison, was sued by the Turkish prosecutor’s office for caricaturing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a baby.

The trial was due to take place on 31 January 2017, at the criminal court of first instance in Izmit-Kandira.

Baris Inan is a political cartoonist who has published his cartoons in Homur magazine and the daily Özgur Gündem, which was temporarily shut down by the Turkish government in August 2016.

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Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (II)See previous cases a 2018


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