A death sentence has been pronounced via Twitter for Kuwati-born Naif Al-Mutawa by the jihadist militant group ISIS, according to reports out of the Middle East. Dr. Al-Mutawa’s groundbreaking comic THE 99 has sought to give the Muslim community its own superheroes while at the same time fostering a greater, more positive understanding of Islam among its non-Muslim readers. Created in consultation with Sharia scholars, THE 99 has led to Al-Mutawa being listed among the world’s 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by Jordan’s Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center and named, alongside Steve Jobs, one of the seven most influential designers in the world by Forbes China. read more
Cartoonists Rights Network International fights to protect the human rights and the personal and creative freedom of editorial cartoonists around the world under threat, arrest, or intimidation because of the power and influence of their professional work.
CRNI's network of over 600 editorial and social cartoonists throughout the world monitors these threats to editorial cartoonists and their families and activates campaigns to raise awareness and public pressure that push back against these threats.
When Kanika Mishra, a cartoonist and web-animator living in Mumbai, got word that a popular religious leader, Asaram Bapu, had been accused of raping the 16-year old daughter of two of his followers, she reacted in the most powerful way she could. Spiritual entrepreneur Bapu, who claims on his website a religious footprint of more than 400 ashrams and millions of devotees worldwide, was already on Mishra’s radar for suggesting that the victim of the infamous 2012 gang rape on a Delhi bus was partly responsible for her rape. So -- four hours after hearing that there was a police manhunt for Asaram Bapu -- Kanika Mishra posted to her Facebook page a political cartoon putting the soon-to-be-charged holyman squarely in the crosshairs of India's first cartoon Everywoman. read more
Update: Syrian Cartoonist Akram Raslan
On 2 October 2012, Akram Raslan, a Syrian cartoonist working for Al-Fida newspaper, was arrested by the Syrian Military Intelligence in the city of Hama. The arrest reportedly took place after the publication of cartoons on Facebook which were critical of the regime, and since then it is believed that Mr Raslan has been held incommunicado, with conflicting reports relating to his fate and whereabouts. CRNI has been working ceaselessly in an attempt to try and ascertain exactly what has happened to Mr Raslan and to gain information about his health and status, enlisting the support of the United Nations Human Rights Council and its Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. We have now been informed that the Syrian Permanent Mission to the UN, in response to a request by the UN for information relating to Mr Aslan, have confirmed that he was arrested for publishing cartoons ‘offending the state’s prestige’, and that he is still under investigation by the ‘relevant authority’. While this news is welcoming, in its confirmation that he is alive and well, we still await further details relating to his condition, where he is being held, and his legal status. read more
Press Release Burke, Virginia Cartoonists Rights Network International calls for nominations for their annual Award for Courage in Editorial Cartooning. Please see our website, cartoonistsrights.org for a list of our past recipients and a description of the award. Every year and CRNI gives this award to a political or social cartoonist who has demonstrated exceptional courage in the face of overwhelming threats while pursuing their Article 19 freedom of speech rights and the art of political cartooning. The award serves as a global recognition of and protection to cartoonists who are victims of illegal forms of intimidation and censorship. Nominations will be accepted from June 1 to June 15, 2014 read more
CRNI Art To Die For in Norway
The cartoon above was drawn by Bangladeshi cartoonist Arifur Rahman. It was for a children's publication, telling the story of a mullah (an Islamic cleric) asking a little boy the name of his cat. The boy replies his cat's name is Mohammed. In Bangladesh, as in many Islamic countries, it is taboo to name an animal by the same name as the prophet Mohammed. For this crime, Arifur spent about seven months in prison under unspeakably horrible conditions. When released he escaped, with the help of CRNI, and ICORN, to the safe haven city of Drobak, Norway. CRNI and the House of Cartoonists, Drøbak, Norway celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian Constitution April 5, 2014 With support from the Fritt Ord Foundation in Norway, CRNI and the House of Cartoonists curated a show of cartoons taken primarily from the CRNI "Art To Die" for archive. The archive was started about 20 years ago when CRNI began compiling and conserving the cartoons that got cartoonists into trouble. No institution in the world today is taking care to celebrate and document these cartoons and the cartoonists who drew them. They are an important part of the historical record of journalism's fight against censorship and the impunity that tyrants, despots and religious fanatics usually enjoy when attacking journalists. read more